Jesus and politics

The current U.S. presidential election makes me wonder what Jesus would make of it.

In his years on earth, Jesus resisted attempts to make him a political leader.

Followers hoped he would lead a military uprising that would kick the Romans out of the Jewish homeland.  Jewish leaders tried to get him to choose between God and the secular rulers.

From what we know now, Jesus could have called upon legions of angels to destroy the people who opposed him and ultimately crucified him.  But that wasn’t his mission.

Christ was interested in people’s hearts, not their votes or their weapons.

He was involved in a much larger battle than the American election – or any election.  And his weapons were spiritual, not military.

Jesus would never have traded false accusations. He was committed to truth.  When religious leaders attempted to put him on the spot, he replied by going directly to their hearts – their real reasons for attacking him and the good news he was preaching.

Jesus was on a mission of love – bringing lost people back to a loving God.  He cared for the sick and the poor and the spiritually hungry.

Elections are necessarily confrontational.  And, in my view, democracy is the best political system invented.

As well, I agree that many of the current issues can’t be solved with a quick bandaid.  They are often complex and technical.

But what about the personal and spiritual character of our politicians?  Shouldn’t that be a priority for Christian believers?

In my view, we should seek leaders who who are humble as Jesus was humble.  They recognize that they are not supermen or superwomen but dependent on God.  They make decisions based on compassion, justice and godly wisdom.

I acknowledge it’s hard to choose when none of the candidates shows these qualities.

In that case, I must rely totally on whether I believe the candidates will implement policies which I consider wise and good for the people of my country.  In a sense, that is a character issue, too.  Can I rely on them to do what they say they will do?

If I enter the voting booth baffled and uncertain, I can still depend on one person – God.

Great men and women have always thought they were directing the course of history.

But, like Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, they were wrong.

God was.

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