You’ll get the drift of what I mean by Supply-Side Jesus from this link.
Jesus, rather than being some commie big-state redistributor, was incredibly serious and canny about money, spending, and tax:
In Matthew 17 we learn:
After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked: “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes he does”, he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes – from their own sons or from others?”
“From others”, Peter answered.
“Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them as my tax and yours.”
Quite a trick, for such a small liability.
Reader, you’ll probably already know bit where Jesus turns over a coin when asked whether to pay tax, and he says “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s”, the Pharisees replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
In both, Jesus shows a pretty clear understanding of both tax exemptions, tax liability, charitable status, and the separation of state and church.
Paul makes tax liabilities even clearer in his letter to the Romans in Chapter 13.
Jesus was no Socialist. Sounds more like he was from Act.
Then there’s Matthew chapter 25.
The summary is: a Rich dude was going on a long journey. Gave one of the staff $5k, who went out and traded hard and made bucketloads.
Gave another $2k, and they doubled it.
Gave another $1k, who essentially stuck it in the bank.
Master finally comes back. Praises hugely the servant who traded hard. Praises well the one who doubled their amount as a “Good and faithful servant”.
Gets to the guy who did nothing with it, and lays into him:
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.”
Plenty of theology to unpack, but honestly Jesus is beginning to sound like a Young Nat.
Interesting to consider, while we’re shopping for all those Christ-Mas presents.
Next week, the Liberation Theology version.