Election season is underway bringing division and conflict among Christians. With Donald Trump sure to win the Republican nomination and Hilary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, Christians will sling mud at each other. Have you ever wondered who would Jesus vote for? Would Jesus be a Republican or a Democrat?
When Jesus walked the planet, he grew up under Roman occupation with an oppressed people. There was no voting or political parties. The Jewish people did not have a say in their government. The only power that they had was indirectly by collaborating with the Romans to maintain their own influence.
If Jesus could vote, what would He vote for? We have some clues from His life as to the priorities of that determined His political views. He was born and raised in Nazareth in Palestine, which was considered a back woods village of tradespeople such as carpenters, farmers and craftsmen. Today Jesus’ hometown Nazareth is one of the largest cosmopolitan Arab cities in Israel.
Political intrigue swirled around Jesus with different movements such as the Zealots promoting a revolution, the influential and wealthy Sadduccees that compromised with the Romans to maintain their way of life, the Pharisees who were devoted to purity in their religion and the Essenes that separated themselves into a monastic setting. Everyone was looking for the Messiah to deliver them from Roman occupation.
Jesus related to these different groups by showing another way of life that is not from this world. His primary mission is to destroy the works of the enemy and to bring the kingdom of God on earth. Everything He did was connected to that mission. Jesus had no political agenda except to serve the Father.
Jesus related to governing authorities through his ministry. An example is when a Roman Centurion came to him for help. Instead of turning this Roman official away who probably represented the enemy to some of his people, he helped him. Helping the enemy didn’t make Jesus a hero to the Zealots and other political movements seeking to overthrow the Roman government.
“When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer[a] came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant[b] lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! (Matthew 8:5-10)
This Roman official was probably one of many Romans who quietly followed. Jesus never addressed the Roman bath houses or sensual lifestyle of the Greeks in his messages. His life was devoted to His father and teaching people how to reach the Father and relate to each other.
Who would Jesus vote for? I asked my 21-year-old son Chris and he said that Jesus would vote for His Father. I don’t know what political party Jesus would be affiliated with although he was an advocate for the poor, widows, orphans, oppressed, sick and outcasts. His followers included ‘sinners’ such as tax collectors and disreputable people.
“Then Jesus went out to the lake shore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me and be my disciple,’ Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him. Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees[a] saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with such scum?[b]’ When Jesus heard this, he told them, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.’” Mark 2:13-17
I think Jesus is more concerned about how we treat each other then the political parties that we’re affiliated with. He set the example of how we are to relate to each other in a heated political season when division comes in the church because of political affiliations. Who would Jesus vote for? I agree with my son Chris that he would vote for His Father. But Jesus isn’t a voter. He is a King. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords who raises up and removes leaders and authorities. Regardless of who becomes president, let’s remember who that person must give account to at the end of time. We are also accountable to God as to how we represent Him during this political season.