Jesus Wasn’t a Socialist. He Is Our Savior.
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
Throughout the Bible physical realities are used to teach spiritual lessons and vice versa. In fact, Jesus Himself often reveals the way the heavenly world works through analogies to earthly things. Believers can therefore draw practical and political guidance from the lessons of Christ’s ministry but must always recall that these things are correctly interpreted only if they bring truth that sets people free (John 8:32), which was Jesus’ ultimate objective.
Sadly, some today are trying to improperly politicize Christ’s life to justify their own political talking points through blatantly false misrepresentations. For example, at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, Reverend William Barber claimed the Bible advocates socialism:
“When we embrace moral language, we must ask, Does our policy care for ‘the least of these’?—Does it lift up those who are most marginalized and dejected in our society? —Does it establish justice? That is the moral question...If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible must then promote socialism, because Jesus offered free health care to everyone, and he never charged a leper a co-pay."
First of all, we would endlessly rejoice if God miraculously healed anyone—or everyone—who might be hurt, sick, or dying. However, it seems ridiculously naïve for a pastor to suggest that we legislatively demand “Jesus-care” in accordance with a human sense of justice. It also reveals a stunning ignorance of both history and Scripture to compare a failed economic system responsible for the death of millions throughout history to the loving acts of restoration performed by our Savior.
Jesus didn’t come to institute a free healthcare policy for the Roman empire but rather to use His miracles to reveal the more important purpose of healing the spiritual man. As He affirmed:
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home’” (Mark 2:9-11 NASB).
There were even times when, in order to demonstrate a higher purpose, Jesus refused to heal someone. Just ask Lazarus. He wasn’t healed from his sickness; He died from it—only to be raised from the dead specifically to reveal “the glory of God” (John 11:40).
There were also times when, even though there were people in need of physical help, Christ placed the emphasis of His ministry on other things, saying:
“Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for” (Mark 1:38 NASB, emphasis added).
Jesus’s “socialistic” heath care plan didn’t even carry coverage for His own physical crucifixion—nor was the apostle Paul spared from his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-19). Jesus clearly did not come to provide free healthcare without a co-pay for all.
Expanding further, Jesus routinely refused any kind of forced redistribution of wealth under the guise of charity. For instance, when Judas lobbied to take Mary’s gift and redistribute it to the poor, Jesus rebuked him:
“Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” (John 12:5-8 NASB).
Jesus wasn’t a socialist. (See especially His teachings in Matthew 25 on the talents, and in Luke 19 about the minas.) And we must never forget that the spiritual healing He provided for us was not free: He paid for it with His own life, and then made it available to us through our own individual repentance, not through equal redistribution.
As believers, we are certainly called to help the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40). But that’s not socialism. That’s Christian ministry by individuals.
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 Cawthorne, C. (2019, August 23). DNC Speaker: Socialism endorsed by constitution, Bible. Retrieved from https://freebeacon.com/politics/dnc-speaker-socialism-endorsed-by-constitution-bible/