“Jesus was literally born in a trough used to feed livestock in a barn because his mother — an unmarried woman named Mary — and her partner, Joseph, had no place to sleep.”

Actually scholars now accept that “There was no room in the Inn” was a mis-translation of “There was no room in the bedroom” for childbirth at the house where they were staying with cousins (Bethlehem was Joseph’s home town, which is why they went there for the Census), so Mary (who by this time was Joseph’s wife) gave birth in the common room, but they probably did use a manger for a cot.

According to gospel accounts, Jesus was a homeless Jew who openly associated with sex-workers and social outcasts as he walked the Levant spreading a mystical and frankly proto-communist interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures.” On the contrary, apart from a period as a refugee in Egypt on the run from Herod the Great, Joseph was a good provider and his carpentry business put him firmly in the Middle Class. Far from being homeless Jesus left home to become a wandering preacher: he chose this lifestyle. Far from being a “proto-communist”, he never suggested that rich people should have their property stolen and handed out to the poor, he called on the rich to give from their wealth to voluntarily help the poor. He promoted philanthropy not Communism. His ideas were based on the scriptures: The basic thought of the Torah is that Yahweh is the protector and defender of the poor (Exodus 22:25; 23:3; Leviticus 19:10; 23:22). God does not want his kingdom to have poverty, though he knows that because of sin this goal will not be accomplished until he returns.

However, while on this earth, the Bible has express commands for Christians to follow that can help the plight of the poor. Such commands span the Torah. In Exodus, God strictly forbids exploitation of the poor, stating,

Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan (Exodus 22:21–22).

That does give you support for the idea that Jesus would have wanted us to help refugees. I’m not sure that translates to saying we just have to accept millions of illegal immigrants: we must treat them humanely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t send them back to their homeland if it is safe to do so.

And You are correct to say “The idea behind Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan is often misinterpreted.” Then you go on to misinterpret it. Samaritans were Jews living in Samaria, a mountainous, central region of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean, based on the borders of the biblical Kingdom of Israel, and inhabited by the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. They did not get carried off to Babylon as slaves by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The exile lasted from 598BC till 538BC, but this 60 years in captivity changed the Jewish religion: because they had no access to the Temple, they set up synagogues and substituted prayers for former ritual sacrifices in the Temple. Modern Judaism with Rabbis dates from this tradition. When they returned to Israel, they found Samaritan Jews who had not suffered the captivity, and had not shared the Religious reforms the Jerusalem Jews had developed. In short The Samaritans had not changed, but the returning Jews had and no longer viewed the Samaritans as “proper Jews”. They were regarded as heretics, not as an inferior race: they were ethnically identical to the other members of the Israelite race. They were treated as second-class citizens and looked down on as being unclean, and there was no love lost between Samaritans and real Jews.

So when Jesus mentioned the Torah’s commandment to love your neighbor as yourself, when the expert asked, “But who counts as a neighbor?”, he got the answer: the neighbour is the one who helps a person in need, regardless of their differences. The priest and the Levite should have helped a member of their own race and religion, but they didn’t want to get involved. The despised Samaritan is the neighbour because he didn’t see a Jew, he saw a man who needed help, and gave it. Jesus made the Samaritan the one who helped in the parable for shock value, to challenge the commonly held belief that only your closest friends and family were neighbours that Jews were obligated to help. Jesus pretty much said “All men are your neighbours; if you see someone in need you should help them!”

Not Communism, but Charity.

I work in IT, Community volunteer interested in Politics, support Capitalism as the best economic system for lifting people out of poverty, Skeptical scientist.

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