Early this week, American pundit Stephen Colbert claimed that Jesus was a socialist. Now this is nothing new, but it’s entirely bogus.
Jesus Is Not Your Political Prop
Leftists and Liberals love to paint Jesus as some sort of hippy pacifist who was all about every Western Socialist talking point. To hear people talk, you’d think Jesus was for open borders, universal healthcare, free love, smoking weed, universal living wage and having absolutely no rule of law.
When we actually CRACK YOUR BIBLE, what do we see about Jesus’ supposed socialist leanings?
Was Jesus A Socialist?
Jesus wore expensive clothes, had rich friends, and said there will always be poor people… what a socialist!
Was Jesus a socialist? You tell me after reading these passages:
1. Clothing: Jesus wore a coat that was so expensive that Roman soldiers cast lots (gambled) to see who would get it because it was made of one piece of fabric. In today’s age of mass-produced cheap clothing, that means nothing to you, but a single piece of cloth made into a seamless garment was EXPENSIVE.
“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things,” –
2. Perfume: Jesus had pure nard poured on Him, which cost 300 denarii, which was the equivalent of a year’s wages for a laborer. Do you have a bottle of perfume that costs $50,000? Probably not.
“Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor?”
Jesus was wealthy and travelled with wealthy people.
3. Eradicating Poverty (will never happen.)
- “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” –
- “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it forthe day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”–
4. Capitalism (Jesus is the master, and lazy Christians are the wicked servant in this parable.)
“He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” –
5. Paying taxes
“They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” –
6. Sharing with those who fail to plan:
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” –
7. Entitlement: God owes people nothing and not recognizing and thanking Jesus when He gave you something that you didn’t deserve, upset Jesus enough that it made it into the Bible.
“And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” –
8. Classism / Knowing your place: Believers are God’s children, yet they are to have a servants’ heart. God is a father and the master of the house who isn’t impressed by you simply doing what you’re commanded to do.
“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”–
9. Selling property to the state: This story needs some context, but King Ahab and Queen Jezebel conspired to have Naboth put to death because he wouldn’t give his land to the state, per God’s inheritance laws. Naboth is mentioned by name 17 times in the Old Testament and his story takes up a significant portion of 1 Kings. Jesus mentions how much He hates Jezebel in .
“Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” –
Paul Was Not A Socialist
Paul builds upon what Jesus taught:
- (10.) Welfare for widows:
“Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” –
2. (11.) Welfare for people who would rather not work:
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” –
3. (12.) Tolerance:
“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” –
13. Jesus’ coming kingdom is an absolute monarchy, where He is the King above all kings, the Lord above all lords. An absolute monarchy is neither socialist nor communist:
“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” –
The hippy, pacifist, socialist Jesus that you imagine is clearly not the Jesus of the Bible.
Tl;Dr: No. Jesus wasn’t about that socialist life. Get a job.
Originally posted to Quora on July 24, 2018