Was Jesus a Socialist?

We are hearing a lot of talk about something called democratic socialism and, of course, it didn’t take long before folks began invoking Jesus to bolster their claims.  I have seen several articles recently declaring that Jesus was a socialist. I find that most people of that inclination also say that abortion is doing the “Lord’s work”.  That’s another way of me saying that they have no idea what they are talking about.
Believe it or not, I have spent an awful lot of time studying Jesus. I have yet to find an incident where He said to take from those who have a lot and give it to those who don’t have as much.  Now, He did say that Christians should voluntarily help those in need.  But that is a huge difference.  He condemned greed but never said that every accumulated wealth was a product of greed and should be forcibly taken from the wealthy.
And, yes, the Bible did say that greed is a terrible thing.  1 Timothy 3:10 declares that the love of money (greed) is the root of evil.  Note that money isn’t the root; money is neutral.  It says that the love of money is the root. The desire for the material things, the power, and the influence of money can, and will, cause us to take our eyes off of God and His care for us.  Greed is absolutely against the purpose and character of our Lord.
We have to understand, however that the term “rich” is relative and that “greed” is matter of the heart, not the bank account.  Would you say that you are rich?  I certainly don’t see myself as rich.  If you asked someone in the slums of India, though, about my financial status they would tell you that I’m rich beyond imagination. If they rail against the rich, they would certainly include me.  What people mean, then, when they speak of the rich is that they mean those who are “richer than they are”.  When I hear a politician with several houses who vacation in luxurious locations speak of the evils of those who are rich it is just plain laughable. When they speak of the 1% of the people of our nation having such vast wealth do they not realize they, themselves, are probably among the 1% of the people of the world who would be touted as filthy rich? It’s hypocritical to the highest degree.
Are rich people greedy? I suppose that a huge number of rich people do, indeed, fall into that trap.  But greed is a condition of the heart.  A young person in college who calls out the rich for their greed can be just as greedy.  Often they are.  The desire for bigger, better, and more is greed, pure and simple.  A poor person can be just as greedy as a wealthy person, just not as successful in fulfilling that greedy nature.
Christians are held to a high standard of love and generosity, that is so very true. We are told to help those who are less fortunate and in need.  But we are never told to depend on the government to distribute our gifts to the needy.  They do an awful job of prioritizing true needs and often times subsidize un-Christian beliefs and practices.  Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates may be the richest men in the world, but I have no right to take some of their vast wealth and give it to causes I personally prefer.  If they were believers in Christ, I suspect they would spend their money differently.  They will answer to God for how they use their wealth.  As will I.

Bro. Tony