Reza Aslan's "Zealot" puts forth a strong argument that Jesus most likely had socialist ideals, not to say that Aslan used the word "socialist" (I don't believe he did, but I could be wrong). Seeking to overthrow the Roman foreign rulers, "My kingdom is not of this world" was referring to the current system of government, he wanted to set up a new government for god, or at least help set up a new government if he had the chance. He kept insisting that the rich give up their possessions, and that the poor be made powerful. He did not charge people for healing. This is huge, no one that we are aware of (aside from possibly John the baptist) would of thought to just heal people for free. So this in itself really ticked off both the temple priests who lost potential customers as well as the scamming "sorcerers". So he had two polar opposite groups of capitalist-minded people that did not like what he was doing on top of the Romans waiting for him to reveal he was a seditionist. Everything else that I can think of to support this argument, from his first visit to the temple to feeding the poor has already been mentioned by others on here so I won't go into that.
The word "socialism" is a label intentionally used to demonize the idea that we can all work together to the benefit of each individual. The main argument used against this idea is that it creates poverty and failure. I submit that governments actively fight and undermine its possible success. If our current system of government was as superior as claimed there would be no poverty, and no children going hungry. It is seems blatantly obvious that capitalism only works for a few at the cost of many. If we don't find a different way, if corporations don't start taking responsibility for society it will distort itself from within as we are currently observing.
Socialism sees this world as greedy and the only way to ensure people are not exploited is through the law. Jesus wanted an end to evil and greed, he called the devil the prince of this world and the way is through God's law. He wants an end to suffering.
I am a believing Christian and I think that yes, his ideas was very close to socialism. He wanted freedom, a world without poverty and a world where the standing people take care of the laying people, a world where the healthy people take care of the sick people. With other words, He wanted a world who is constructed with caring, equality and peace. That sounds like a mix between anarchism and socialism to me.
He was not interested in a political movement, but a spiritual one, played out in a hands-on, person-to-person method of equalizing the imbalance of prosperity/poverty in human culture. It's not related to Marxism or any other political or cultural agenda; to do the right thing was (and is) a natural outgrowth of a life dedicated to God.
Jesus advocated that his supporters should help the poor, not only materially but also spiritually. Mark 10:21-25 tells the story of the rich man who was told to sell his riches and give it ALL to the poor. Many arguments opposing this view point to the fact that Jesus wanted his followers to give through charity, they fail to see that 2000 years ago leadership was not democratic, if taxes were to be raised, they weren't to be spent on a new healthcare system, they would be spent on a new palace for the Emperor or new funds for an army! Jesus was making the best of a bad situation
Jesus, over turned the money changers tables, he fed the masses and poor; Jesus was the 1st socialist. Consider, "Mark Chapter 10:21-25 21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Further read, Matthew 25:31-46: The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. For those that don’t know this one the key statement is as follows:
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life”.
You can look at these others at your pleasure:
Matthew 4:23, 9:35, 17:14
Mark 7:31, 8:22
As you can see Jesus is not concerned with money, capital or greed...Just people.
Jesus was always concerned about the under privileged and not the temple elites. It's way the temple elites wanted to get rid of him. There's hardly any mention of him in bible ever talking money matters, and there was also the issue of when he threw the money lenders out of the temple. So, you could make a case.
Many of Jesus' teachings espoused things that sound like socialist views to me. Matthew 25:31-46 basically admonishes those who refuse to feed, clothes, or care for their fellow man when they are hungry, needy, or sick. Jesus did not look down on the poor or show favoritism, but he taught that all men were equals and that wealth should be shared rather than stockpiled.
5 No one who loves money can easily avoid sinning, whoever pursues profit will be corrupted by it.
6 Gold has been the ruin of many; their coming destruction was self-evident,
7 Since it is a snare for those who sacrifice to it and stupid people all get caught in it.
Jesus was all for helping those who can't help themselves. However, He wanted Christians and others to help them directly, not through socialism. He wanted generosity instead of cradle to the grave welfare. Sure He wanted everyone to eat and have access to certain items, but He made it the peoples responsibility, not the government.
Jesus, according to the Bible, was a man who cared about helping the poor, the sick, the blind and the young. People praise Jesus for how selfless he was and how he wanted people to join together to love God. Jesus, however, talked more about what it takes for YOU to get into heaven and what YOU, as an individual, must do to become a servant of god. That, to me, seems more like capitalism.
Politics have become our societies scale in judging humanity. Jesus believed in personal empathy, love, forgiveness and charity. Even if our government takes taxes to support the poor, Jesus still expects you to give of yourself and your wealth to support those less fortunate and those in higher need than yourself. Jesus's work did not support paying taxes, his work supported giving of yourself to those who need your help. Always. Whether you pay taxes or not. Yes, he believed wealth should be shared, but he believed it should be a person's choice, as a way to show his devotion to Godliness, earning them a spot in heaven. Not ordered to by a socialist government. That is a government who is acting like a God.
He manufactured goods and sold them for profit to enable himself and his family to live. He did this until the age of thirty when he went out to live his Mission. He may even have saved the money from his business to enable him to "do his Father's will". His legacy was to "love one another as I have loved you". He was the perfect man and did not promote any political system. In fact, a whole generation of Christians has been conned by this "lie" that Christ was a socialist.
Socialism requires public ownership of all production. Jesus argued for a meritocracy and private ownership (Matt 25:14-15). Jesus said, "The laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke 10:7). Jesus favored voluntary giving, but required that it be private; without this, it had no value. The Jesus of the Bible met none of the criterion of the definition of Socialism.
Jesus actually had very little to say about government, politics, etc. except to say 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's' when shown the tribute penny in the temple. I reckon that the majority of the people saying 'Jesus was a socialist' have never actually lived in a country where socialism has been practiced- and how horribly Christians have been treated there (i.E. Red Terror in Russia, etc.).
Without His mind-set we cannot see what it means to apply the law of love in our economic transactions. To give to another the value required for the object or service rendered is practicing the law of love: "Do unto others. . ." To interfere with this transaction, i.E., demanding a share by force is stealing.
Nowhere did Jesus tell people to give anything to the government, to support any specific economic system, or to look to the government for support. He admonished individuals to support other individuals. Sell what you have and give it to the poor (Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:33), not sell what you have and give it to the government. He told individuals to look to God for their needs (Luke 12:28-30).
He told His followers to love one another (John 13:35), and one of the outgrowths of that was that the disciples freely shared with each other, not with the government or a political group (Acts 4:32). But believers could make a personal decision about how much to share or keep for themselves (Acts 5:4). Note that lying was the issue here. The believers were free to choose what to do with their money and their property.
Even the Good Samaritan acted as an individual with his own money and his own possessions. The parable did not give praise to the Samaritan for giving his money to the government or for forming a political group that would force others to give away their money and/or possessions.
In Luke 6:30, Jesus says that if anyone takes what belongs to you, don't demand it back. But in so saying, he obviously recognizes individual ownership. But Jesus did NOT say nothing belongs to you anyway, so no one can take anything away from you.
It makes no sense to take an itinerant Jewish preacher from the 1st Century AD, living in a time and culture far removed from our own, and try to fit him into our post-Enlightenment "left-right" spectrum. It simply won't fit.
Inasmuch as Jesus was political - and he was certainly that - his 'platform' was nothing less than the Kingdom of God, which he preached. It had nothing to do with redistributive taxation; it was the establishment of God's righteous rule on earth, and the fulfillment of God's promises to his people.
His concern for the poor of society was motivated by sheer love, not by any notion of fairness; any artificial human contrivance to redistribute wealth will simply miss the point. It's not about balancing the weight of our pockets, it's about loving God and his creation.
Socialist minority is totalitarian, against majority and their freedoms. That's why socialism always ends totalitarian, brings poverty death and disaster. . .
End of socialist minorities destroying world past century is near!
Jesus was pro freedom, against socialist minority coercion! Capitalism/freedom rescued common folk from feudalism and multiplied humankind 7 fold, giving life to everyone around! God's miracle!