Thursday, December 10, 2009

Could Jesus Have Been A Capitalist?

What did Jesus imply by his outburst in the temple? Apparently his disdain for "moneymaking" within the confines of his Father's house. In the grand scheme of things though, I can't help but think these "opportunists" were just trying to make a few bucks by selling religious "trinkets" and other indulgences to a willing audience. Is this not the epitome of capitalism?

Apparently Jesus did not very much like this and made it known by turning over the tables and accusing these merchants of "mocking his Father". Perhaps many will claim Jesus was only against this "moneymaking" mentality within the confines of "God's house". However, this seems curiously analogous to the idea that followers of Jesus are expected to be "churchy" and on their best behavior only within the confines of "God's house". Should this be the mentality of His followers? Sadly, it oftentimes seems so. In any case, could Jesus have been a capitalist?

On the other hand, I can't help but think of the parable Jesus told about the servants entrusted with a landowner's talents. Whereas one servant held onto it out of fear he would lose it and was subsequently vilified, another servant "invested" it to earn interest and was thus praised. Could Jesus have been advocating capitalism? Was this really about investing money or more about investing oneself selflessly? Hmmm? Could Jesus have been a capitalist?

I'm puzzled how so many people that "study" Jesus so nobly imply that He was, or at least would be, a capitalist? Could it be predicated on His messages of "a man shall reap what he sows"? If this is true, where does grace fit into this?

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