My sister teaches in a Catholic School, and recently she facilitated an activity with her students where they had to list all the things that describe Jesus. One of the students said that Jesus was an environmentalist. Huh! Both her and I had never thought of him like that. It got us both to thinking about this concept, and has sent me searching for more examples both pro and con. Here is my list so far:
1. Pro - Loaves & Fishes. This is the story where Jesus feeds 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes, which is a feat that would make even the Frugal Chef jealous. He not only knew how to feed many people with a few resources, but he also collected 12 baskets of leftovers afterward. Now I ask you, is this not the epitome of resourceful food management?
2. Con - The Fig Tree. "Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again!' Immediately the tree withered." Mathew 21: 18-22. He killed a tree because it did not have signs of fruit production that he could eat. Environmentalist? I don't think so. I have to wonder if maybe Mathew just missed a crucial point to this story. Maybe the tree had a disease, like elm disease, which would infect all the fig trees in the area if it did not get cut down. Maybe he just transplanted it to a nearby orchard where it would somehow produce more fruit. Are my theories outlandish? Well, yea. But hey, this is my blog. :)
3. Con- In all honesty, if you look through the bible stories you will see ample examples where he talks about the afterlife or the importance of loving one another and treating everyone with respect. He talks a lot about fighting hypocrisy. He talks about loving God, loving yourself, loving your neighbor and saying no to any temptation that would affect your relationship with either God, yourself, or your fellow man. I'm not sure Jesus was so concerned about the earth. I think he viewed it as a temporary place, kind of like we are renting but not owning.
Conclusion: After doing some basic research on the subject, I'd have to say that I'm not sure Jesus was an environmentalist. I will tell you one thing though, Jesus was definitely a liberal.