It’s no secret that today’s Republican candidates are vying for the “evangelical” vote. This means they want Christians to vote for them because of the significant number of votes they represent in our country. This also means they are claiming to follow Christ and their policies represent biblical principles. If that is true, then who would Jesus vote for?
First of all, it’s important to note that we have no record of Jesus ever discussing or involving Himself in political issues. Aside from a short discussion about paying taxes (c.f. Luke 20:19-26), Jesus was not a political person. He did not protest Rome or revolt against the corrupt leadership of His day. By today’s standards, Jesus would have been viewed as politically neutral. He was not motivated by educational opportunities, owning property, border control, or career advancement. In many ways, Jesus would have been viewed as a homeless person living off the provision of others and always on the move.
So how does Jesus play into the political arena of today? Well, the short answer is, He doesn’t. That’s right, Jesus told Pilate where He was placing His vote.
John 18:36 – “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Jesus had an eternal focus that saw beyond the politics of His day. He came to die for our sins so we could be forgiven and become citizens of heaven (see my blog Hell No).
All that to say, I doubt if Jesus would have been standing in line at a polling booth to cast a vote for the latest Roman governor if given the opportunity. So to talk about a Jesus vote appears to be a very short discussion given what we read in the Gospels.
Now I recognize the political landscape was much different in Jerusalem 2000 years ago than it is today. I also recognize that Jesus calls Christians to be His witness in today’s culture…
Matthew 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
This means that as a Christian you have a responsibility to be a witness for Jesus in your everyday life. This could include your work, school, neighborhood, and even the polling booth. In other words, rather than asking who Jesus would vote for, we need to be asking how can we vote for Jesus in all that we do! This may or may not be possible in today’s polling booth given the mixture of morals and political agendas that can often take place on both sides of the aisle (see my blog post, Is God a Republican?).
So let’s be careful in how we spiritually frame our vote this upcoming election, making sure we don’t contradict who we claim to follow (Jesus), nor impose on Him some political policy that He doesn’t care about.
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