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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican?



Pick up a newspaper. Flip on the television. Surf the Internet. No matter where you go, you cannot avoid it – politics. Everyone has an opinion and freely shares it. Political views can build bridges or burn them. With the recent election, it seems no one talks of anything else.


Were political views this strong in Jesus’ time? With which platform would Jesus align Himself? A quick look at the New Testament reveals an answer to the first. Yes, politics are present in the Bible. During Christ’s time the political groups or parties consisted of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Teachers of the Law, the Herodians, the Zealots, and the Essenes. None of the groups got along. Sound familiar? Jesus’ ministry coincided with the oppressive Roman rule of the Jewish people. When Jesus arrived on the scene, many thought He was the one who would overthrow the Roman government.


I would argue that even Christ’s disciples had strong political opinions and thought they were going to aid in the establishment of a new government. The tongues were certainly wagging when Christ chose Simon the Zealot as one of his disciples. Zealots were a political group who worked tirelessly to lead a rebellion against the Roman rule in Israel. I’m sure this selection only fueled thoughts that Christ would back a rebellion.


Then there is Matthew, a publican – no not a Republican, but a publican. Matthew was picked by the Roman government to collect taxes in his area. Tax collectors were hated for their reputation of overcharging the citizens and supporting Rome. He was also picked to be one of Jesus’ Twelve. Under any other circumstances, Matthew and Simon the Zealot would not have been friends.


The disciples, not understanding Jesus’ kingdom would be in heaven not earth, argued about who among them would be the greatest.

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. (Mark 9:33-34 NIV)

A little later James and John approached Jesus about who would be his “right hand man” when He came into power.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." (Mark 10:35-37 NIV) Jesus responded with, “You don’t know what you are asking.” (v. 38)

Judas’ strong conviction that Jesus would lead a rebellion was his downfall. As Jesus repeatedly predicted His death and resurrection, the truth trickled in and dawned on Judas. He didn’t like what he saw. His disenchantment with Jesus not making a political move led him to betray the Son of Man. He would later regret the decision. As Judas arrived with a crowd armed with swords and clubs (Mark 14:43 NIV), Jesus questioned them.

"Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? (v.48)

So, what was Christ’s political affiliation? Where would He place himself today? On the right or the left? I think Jesus said it best himself.

"My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." John 18:36-37 NIV

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV

Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican?

Neither.

I believe He would have associated with both and neither. While claiming neither, He would’ve had dialogue and interaction with both. Jesus was not caught up in the extreme adherence of the laws as the Pharisees. Nor would the questioning of the Teachers of the Law trap Him. Jesus came for one purpose. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 NIV) He came to find lost sheep.


Jesus isn’t looking for democratic donkeys or republican elephants. He is the Shepherd, He’s looking for lost sheep.

Have we become so caught up looking for donkeys and elephants that we’ve neglected to see the lost sheep?

Oh, Father help me not to see donkeys and elephants. Instead Lord, open my eyes to the lost sheep. Amen.


Visit Carol at sheep to the right!

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8 Comments:

Blogger karin said...

Excellent!

November 11, 2008 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Kennisha Hill said...

Great post!

November 11, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger a woman found said...

Carol this is awesome!!! I pray we would walk in the footsteps of our Savior and be concerned with increasing the citizens of the kingdom of heaven no matter what party or whatever else we humans divide over!

November 11, 2008 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Oh, girlfriend. You brung it on this one.

Awesome stuff!!

November 11, 2008 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Awesome post.

November 11, 2008 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Wonderful!!! My heart screams out an AMEN on this one!

November 12, 2008 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. These are much needed words of truth and clarity.

November 13, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

May I say what a pleasant change to read something that isn't saying you can't be a Christian if you don't vote [insert "Republican" or "Democrat" depending on the personal views of the blogger].

Well done.

November 15, 2008 at 10:44 AM  

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