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Political and Taxation Views of Jesus

Updated on May 29, 2013

The New Testament has quite few instances when Jesus talks about his political views. He was very diplomatic in the sense that He never said anything negative about the politicians of the time and their political decisions. The only people that He critisized sometimes were the scribes, pharasees, and tax collectors, but even them they critisized for things other than politics. In fact, the recurring theme of his political views was to submit to authorities, obay laws, and pay taxes. Basicly, any legistlation that does not go against the will of God, obey it and keep it. It is interesting to note that Jesus always avoided critising the authorities, and in tricky situations, instead of answering bluntly, He replied by another question.

Regarding taxes: A recurring theme of the New Testament is that tax collectors are hated, yet Jesus said to pay taxes. This may seem to be a contradiction, but you need to know a little about taxation system of the time.

The whole taxation system in the Roman Empire at the province of the empires was like this. The emperor of Rome set a certain sum of money that he wanted to collect from the certain area. Not that an actual absolute number was set, not a percentage of income as tax. The emperor only cared to receive the tax money he set; how it was collected,and what the actual taxes that people in the specific area paid did not bother him at all. These tax sums were given to prefect, or the head, of the area (who were appointed by the emperor also). These prefects appointed a chief tax officer, who functioned as the CEO of the national tax offices today. These officers appointed tax collectors. In the provinces also absolute number taxes were collected also, not income percentages. Of course the province needed to be financed, so on top of the emperors tax money, additional sum was required. The tax collectors weren't paid salaries, so tax collectors also required an adittional, third sum of money. This third sum was quite high. In summary, tax collectors were hated not because they collected taxes, but because they took most of the incomes of tax payers. Tax collectors pretty much ripped people off.

Below I will be stating the specific political stance of Jesus on a number of areas.

Health care

He healed people for fee. This means that he supported free healthcare.

Education

Free elementary education was probably his agenda, because he though young children for free. He probalbly also believed in the kindergarden system, for free also.

Poor

Since Jesus said many times, he was for supporting the poor and the homeless. As he said that the people should let strangers be housed in houses, so He supported an extensive homeless aid system.

Separation of State and Church

Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, where God would rule. Obviously, He was against separation of State and Church. On the other hand Churches and Holy places should not be used for other purposes, but only for communion with God.

Government Size

Central rule by God in a strong capital city of Jerusalem is what He promoted, so he was for a large central government.

Judicial, and Penalty System

Jesus supported casting evil people to hell, so I think that he was for the death penalty. However, He also said that people shouldn't judge, so a small, very carefully selected group of people be the judges.

Immigration Policy

Jesus was about salvation of all people, non-Jews also (called Gentiles). This means that He was liberal in regards to letting people from other nations to come to a country.

Recommended Reading on the Politics of Roman Empire

Recommended Readings about Taxes in the Roman Empire

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