Jesus was politically astute in the politically charged environment of first century Judea. Yet, here is his most amazing political statement.
“My kingdom is not of this world.”
Jesus Put a Zealot with a Tax Collector
Jesus chose Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector.
Zealots were usually zealous for Jewish independence and very anti-Roman. Tax collectors are pro- Roman and their loyalty to Rome gets them the job.
I would not choose these two to be in the same team. It is just like Jesus to do this.
Jesus praised a Roman Centurion and said Rome would win in the politics of Judea yet was a Jew.
He refused to get involved in politics just the same. When the Pharisees tried to get him in political trouble with either party, he chose God when he said the coin belonged to Caesar but our lives belonged to God.
Jesus seemed to ignore the politics of these two guys on opposite sides. Jesus really felt worldly politics is just politics, but the unseen kingdom of God is everything. See also Priorities in Christian Life.
He clearly challenged his disciples to put politics behind when he put very different guys on his team.
First loyalty was always the Kingdom of God.
When I was in my 20’s, I thought Christians must be Republican. But when George W Bush decided to torture people and take away their human rights in Guantanamo Bay, I started to realize that we Christians cannot fit in any party. We love all the people of the world and see them as equal to us in being created by a loving God. How could we ever say any country is not from God?
We hate things about both parties as we should. We are primarily members of the kingdom of God.
Jesus and Politics is Not Like Us
Jeremiah was a prophet sent by God to say Judah must surrender to Babylon. The Jews hated him and Babylonians loved him, but he also prophesied fall of Babylon. God is working his purpose out.
There were very few Christians in China before Chairman Mao threw out the Western missionaries and terrorized the Chinese Christians. Then, the church grew from 1 million rice Christians to more than 30 Million Chinese Christians. We thought God lost when Mao became leader of China, but God saw better and used Mao to reach to many millions of Chinese and still is. Those who backed Chairman Mao were actually on God’s side just like Jeremiah being for Babylon to crush Judea. God’s ways are higher, and we need to follow Him.
This podcast tells a lot very well on this. We should not be nationalists nor purely loyal to one political party at all. We should love all the parties and all the nations. God is working in each one. He will not cede any to Satan. We must always give our heart to God above all, and be brothers and sisters with people of all types and persuasion just as Jesus loved the Centurion and the prostitutes.