Was Jesus poor? Probably not.
I think that the evidence shows that he was at least middle class and not one of “the poor” (although he was an advocate for the poor). The New Testament makes clear that Joseph (J’s foster father) was a “carpenter” who owned properties in both Nazareth and in Bethlehem. He was, in fact, probably what we would call a “general contractor.” On the way to Bethlehem, Joseph was quite ready to pay for lodging, but there was “no room in the inn.” It was crowding in the inn, not lack of $$$, that required Joseph and Mary to stop in a stable for the birth of Jesus.
Further, Jesus (also a “carpenter”) received the kind of upbringing, education, and training that gained him easy recognition as a Rabbi and caused many of his contemporaries – even his enemies – to hear him “speaking with authority.” He was not poor at all, and he was very well educated. Thus, it is most likely that he knew all of the languages, both spoken and written, that were current at that time, although he may have had less of a grasp on Latin than of the others.
On the question of whether Jesus was poor: There are those who argue in the affirmative on this question, but I think that – taking the entire New Testament record into account – it is much more probable that he was not poor (which, of course, does not necessarily mean that he was rich either).
I can’t go into all the details on this right now; but here are just three points:
1. The NT presents JC as a descendant of King David, i.e., a member of the royal house of Judah. One of his regular titles was “Son of David.” The genealogies in Matthew and Luke, if researched carefully, are both (apparently) intended to show (among other things) that JC is descended from David on both Joseph’s side and on Mary’s side. It seems also that there were many who were ready to see him as the rightful king of Israel. The theme of his kingship comes up quite a bit throughout the NT. Again, that requires a lot of research.
2. The NT never states that JC was poor. It presents him as a champion of the poor, but he is not described as poor himself.
3. When the “Three Wise Men” visit the holy family in Bethlehem (probably more than a year after JC’s birh) they are residing in a house (not in the stable/manger). In addition to this there are other evidences that the family had properties in Nazareth as well as in Bethlehem. (See Matthew 2:9-11)
All for now….