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Was Jesus the Greatest Politician that ever Lived?

We are now at the start of what will be a very political year and you may have heard the saying that
Religion and Politics don’t mix, but there are some Christian politicians. Would you rather have a
Christian with Christian values as a politician or someone with unclear values and ambitions as a
politician? Do you realize that Jesus during His whole ministry was very political?

A politician is defined as a person involved in governing an entity such as a nation and is responsible for
the administration and control of its’ internal and external affairs. Jesus was and is by definition a
politician in the entity of His Father’s (God’s) Kingdom. During Jesus’ Ministry the other two entities
were the church-state of Israel, which were governed by the Sanhedrin led by the high priest Caiaphas
and by Roman rule in Jerusalem which was under the governance of Pilate. In Jerusalem at that time, we
know that it was a very fragile peace between Israel and Rome. The peace was maintained by letting the
Sanhedrin deal with religious matters, and Rome would deal with civil matters as well as administering
any punishment as needed. This uneasy peace was one of the reasons that lead to Jesus being crucified
on a cross. Jesus was never convicted of any religious infraction other than being falsely accused of
blasphemy (MT26:59-66). Pilate never found Jesus guilty of breaking any Roman law (MT 27:17 – 24).
Pilate was trying to maintain the peace in Jerusalem and maintain his own standing with the emperor in
Rome. The Sanhedrin was threatening that peace because of their hatred of Jesus, His teaching, and His
claim of being the Messiah. All of these claims undercut the authority of the Sanhedrin and threatened
their very existence.

What was Jesus’ stand on His politics and the politics of the day? First, Jesus was a King in His Father’s
Kingdom. This is attested in many passages in both the Old Testament (Ze 9:9, Je 23:5, Mi 5:2, etc.) and
the New Testament (Mt 2:1-23, Mt 21:4-5, Mk 1:15, Mk 15:26, Jn 1:49, etc.). Jesus declares His own
Kingship as written in the book of Mathew chapters 24 and 25. Jesus’ also had views on the politics of
those days. He calls the center of the Jewish faith, the temple “a den of thieves.” (Mk 11:17). One of
Jesus’ most famous statements was in Matthew 22:15-22 when He says give Caesar what is Caesar’s and
to God what is His. Jesus as the Messiah had no ambition for power. The Jews believed that the Messiah
would come in might and power to remove the Romans from their land. Jesus always put others before
Himself, and He believed in life, hope and truth. Thus, there was a huge misunderstanding of scripture
by the very priests that were holding on to power until the return of the Messiah. Caesar could keep his
hold on power, but Jesus was interested in saving the souls of Israel.

How can we as Christians vote our beliefs in any election of governmental officials? This is one of the
most difficult of all things to do. First politicians rarely will answer a direct question for fear of offending
a voter. Next, candidates running for office usually have affiliations with a group or party that funds
their campaign, and they don’t want to lose that money. Lastly, there are some politicians that are not
interested in their constituents’ problems but are only interested in their constituents’ votes. All of this
is confounded by the necessity of a majority of votes needed to pass or alter any civil law.


Suppose we look at one of Jesus’ and God’s values, that of “A human life is sacred because we are made
in the image of God.” As a Christian we need to hold that every life is sacred, and so we should support
laws that are written to affirm that premise along with the premise of us having “free will” given to us
by God. For a politician this presents a thorny issue if we ask the question, “When does a human life
begin?” Or if we ask, “If during a birth only one of the two lives can be saved, who will be the one to
decide which life should be saved?” Or “When is it right to execute someone?” These and many more
policies have to be codified into our civil laws in a way that leaves not much room for ambiguity or for
multiple interpretations.

What then is a Christian voter with Christian values to do? If we keep doing what we typically have done,
we stay quiet about the issues, and hope that we pick the right candidate. If we look to Jesus for what
He would do, it might be something like this. First, read about each candidate’s background and record;
see what aligns or doesn’t align with your views; ask the candidate specific questions about any
differences you discover; ask others questions about the issue and the candidate; and lastly PRAY before
you go to vote. Afterwards, remember that God has the final vote, and for a Christian that means that
God’s Will is always done, and His Grace is sufficient for all our mistakes.

The Disciple Group reminds you that frequent prayer in a tranquil setting without distractions is
effective prayer and, God always listens to prayers made in earnest. The Disciple Group asks that you
consider joining us in our effort to strengthen our faith. See Pastor Willis for details.