Last week Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council in Washington, wrote an op-ed piece on CNN.com, entitled My Take: Jesus was a Free Marketer Not an Occupier. While I agree with some of his points about how Jesus’ parable in Luke 19 relates to a free market economy, Jesus also emphatically confronted those with power and influence who were greedy and took advantage of the less fortunate. One example is the account of how he dealt with the cheating businessmen, also found in Luke 19.
So whose side does Jesus really stand on, the 1% or the 99%? I believe we can find a clue in Joshua 3:13-15. Joshua was about the lead the nation of Israel into a battle with Jericho when he has an interesting encounter with someone whose affiliation and intentions are not initially obvious…
“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” ~ Joshua 3:13-14
From this example, we can see that God has an approach to our situations that exceeds our human understanding, perspectives, and agendas (Isaiah 55:8-9). I believe Jesus would probably have some choice words for “Free Marketers” and “Occupiers”. He would challenge the Free Marketers to make money, but not to serve it. Instead they should their money to serve God’s purposes, which would include “helping widows and orphans” (James 1:27).
He would also challenge the Occupiers to appreciate and maximize what they have, just like the little boy with the small lunch of two fish and five loaves of bread (Mark 6:41). Contentment and thankfulness create an environment for God’s grace to provide more than enough for you and those you want to impact (Philippians 4:19).
The truth is Jesus died for the in the 1% and the in the 99%. He cares more about both of our eternal destinies then our earthly differences. However, he will use our earthly differences as learning and growing opportunities to get us closer to realizing our eternal destinies.
What are your thoughts? Which side do you think Jesus stands on, the 1% or the 99%?
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Amos Johnson Jr.
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Business as Mission
The High Calling