Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad?

If He did own a home, did He live with someone else?


1 Answer 1


There are two places in scripture where people are surprised to discover that Jesus is in a house, probably his or his family's. The first place is where Mary and Joseph are living when the wise men follow the star to them. Jesus is not an infant at this point, but a 'young child' (2 years approx., according to Herod's death warrant) and the wise men follow the star to the house 'where they find the young child and Mary and Joseph.'

Mathew 2:9-12 "9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh." NKJV

The second place is where we find Jesus as an adult man.

Mark 2.15: καὶ γίνεται κατακεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ καὶ πολλοὶ τελῶναι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ συνανέκειντο τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοὶ καὶ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ

And it happened that he was reclining in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who were following him . . .KJV

Mark 2:15 seems to suggest that Jesus may have had his own home.

Commentators and scholars have frequently interpreted this text to mean Levi's house, instead of Jesus' own home. To support this statement, it appears in many Bible translations themselves, as "Levi's house", in Mark 2:15.

Contrary to the above, we find Jesus saying,

Matt. 8.20 // Luke 9.58, "Foxes have their holes and the birds of the air have their nests ....but the son of man has nowhere to lay His head."KJV

This above statement may refer to a later time in Jesus' ministry, perhaps after looking after the room and board of his disciples and the families they left at home, for the three years they were itinerate, that they followed him; Jesus may have sold his house to provide for them all, while he was training them, as they moved about from town to town; but considering that he paid their taxes with a gold coin from the mouth of a fish, he probably didn't sell the house for support, since they did have a bag of money later, for paying things, that Judas was in charge of.

Mark 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5......thy sins be forgiven thee. 6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts...KJV

If Mark 2.1-12 also depicts Jesus at his (own) house (2.1, ἐν οἴκῳ, "at home"), perhaps that is why Jesus says, "Your sins are forgiven," as the man's friends destroy the roof of the house, piece by piece...(this is my attempt at a joke, ie. Jesus says 'your sins are forgiven' because if they just destroyed Jesus' roof to let the stretcher through, Jesus might be thinking about 'that too', as he is ministering. (Jesus was also human, subject to things that bother us. He would have had to fix all the damage they did to his roof later, probably not by miraculous means)

Mark 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.KJV

Capernaum was central to Jesus' ministry and may have been the place he was living when some of the first disciples asked to 'see where Jesus was staying', and he replied to 'come and see'. Mary his mother may have lived with him there. He may have operated a carpentry shop there before beginning his ministry. After his ministry began, it is possible that the disciples may have moved in with Jesus or Jesus and his mother. We don't read anything of Joseph in Jesus' adult life, but we know his mother Mary was at the wedding where Jesus did his first miracle, as were the disciples.

It is possible that Jesus may have had provision left from the royal gifts that were given to him at his birth by the wise men who travelled to find him. Scripture does not tell us how much gold or spices were given to him at that time; traditional Christmas pageants may cloud our understanding that there may have been donkey or camel trains of many animal loads of the gifts given to him, considering the wise men saw the star and set out to find him and offered expensive gifts fit for an earthly king. If this were the case, Jesus' home may have housed the twelve men in addition to himself and perhaps his mother and father, or just his mother, and perhaps his physical brothers or cousins, called brethren in the texts. Spices were often used as money by kings, Jesus received both gold and spices at his birth, gifts given by men who were either royals themselves or high up in the courts of other royals, as is understood by the term, - wise men.

John 1:38-39 They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. KJV

John Chapter 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. KJV

Where did they 'continue'- not many days? In an inn? In the one home of a friend who could house them all? Perhaps they continued at the house of Jesus and Mary, his mother.

In addition to all of the above, we find the following;

Mark 9:28 When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, "Why could we not drive it out?"

Matthew 4:13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali--

"And again he entered into Capernaum.—See Notes on Matthew 9:1-8. Mark alone names Capernaum, Matthew describing it as “His own city.” The house may have been Peter’s, as before in Mark 1:29, or it may not have been." Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers II.

"Mark 2:15: The Home of Jesus or Levi?," in the journal New Testament Studies, vol. 39, 1993, D. May

  • 2
    Good answer. I too think Jesus had a home (whether he "owned" it or not remains a question) until his public ministry began to flourish. Thereafter he depended on the kindness of strangers (couldn't resist quoting Blanche from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"), family members, friends (Martha in Bethany), disciples, and his women followers (Lk.8:1-3). Yes, Jesus was supported financially by women. (Aside: Apart from Joseph of A., Jesus' women followers may have been the only ones to know where Jesus was buried (see Lk.23:55-56). They were the first at the tomb after Jesus' resurrection, too.) Don Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 16:32
  • @rhetorician: with the exception of John who was there at the crucifixion and most likely knew his burial place and Peter when he followed John to it Sunday early in the morning.
    – Dcn. Andy
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 23:01
  • I'm not so sure. Conflating all four Gospel accounts, we see that only the women who "followed Joseph" were the ones who saw the tomb and how [Jesus'] body was laid in it" (Lk.23:55). They then informed the disciples that Jesus had been resurrected. Only Peter and John made a beeline to the empty sepulcher (see Lk.24:1-8; Mt.28:1-8), while the other nine stay put, adjudging the women to be speaking nonsense (Lk.24:11). Possibly the only people who knew where Jesus was buried were Joseph of A., Nocodemus, Mary M., and Mary mother of Joses (Jn.19:38ff., and Mk.15:47), Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 1:50
  • though there may have been other women involved (see Lk.23:55). Don Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 1:51

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