On one occasion, an expert of the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“You have answered correctly for the most part,” Jesus replied, “Do this and one other thing, and you will live.”
In wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “What else is there to do?”
In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. However, the man had made sure to have his concealed-carry handgun in his sack, so he shot the two robbers and left them for dead on the side of the road. Thus, the man could live happily and safe on his way down to Jericho.”
“Now, which of these three do you think was the one who inherited eternal life? The man or the two dead robbers who tried to take from him?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who carried a handgun for protection.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
A certain ruler asked Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.”
“All of these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Take everything you have and invest in wealthy companies, and you will have much more treasure than you do right now. Then come, follow me.”
But the rich man replied, “Teacher, I try to use my wealth and status to advocate for a better system: one which does not treat the poor and the minimum wage worker as expendable pieces in a large machine. I am more than willing to give over half my earnings in taxes if it means helping others.”
“Give to the rich, and it shall trickle down to the poor.” Jesus answered, “This system which you advocate for has no place in the kingdom of God.”
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he had fought all of his life for this cause. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard is it for a socialist to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who supports higher taxes and more government regulations to enter the kingdom of God.”
Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to the government or not?”
He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Who is in charge of the government?”
“At this time, Republicans.”
He asked them, “Do they support a pro-life agenda?
“Yes.” They replied.
“Do they propose federal laws which maintain that marriage must only be between one man and one woman?”
“Yes.” They answered again.
“Most of all, do they provide a platform for my followers to have influence over the culture, so that they may return this country to the great, prosperous, Christian nation it once was?”
“Well,” the spies replied, “they don’t really act according to what you teach, but they do give your followers more of a voice in the society.”
Jesus responded, “Their actions do not matter, for they are merely God’s tools.”
Jesus then turned to the crowd and said, “Give to this government all that it asks, for if you do so, you will be returning back to God what is God’s.”
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the wealthy in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn when individual freedoms are taken away, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the strong and courageous, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for vengeance, for they will be filled.
Blessed are those on whom God has shown mercy, for they may now decide who deserves mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for despite their actions, they will see God.
Blessed are those who do whatever it takes to keep peace in their land, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their uncompromising stance against supposed sins, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”…
…“You have heard that is was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn and strike him until he surrenders and never will attack you again. If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, make sure you hire the best lawyer to defend you, for that is your hard-earned money. If someone forces you to go one mile, prove to him your strength by going two miles. Give to the one who asks, as long as you know them and they share the same faith, and turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you, unless they agree to pay back the full amount.
… “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: be cautious of your neighbor, for they may be seeking to steal your possessions and hurt your family. You are sons of your father in heaven, therefore you must defend all that he has given you.”…
… “Do not let other judge you, for they too will be judged. For in the same way that they judge you, they will be judged more severely, and in the way that they give to you, they will be given all the more.”…
…“Watch out for liberal Christians. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”