I’ve heard way too many Facebook posts begin with “I don’t usually talk about politics BUT…” followed by a short dissertation giving someone’s pent-up political polemics and emotional outrage being unleashed seeking the approval of their Facebook crew.
I’ve seen my fair share of opinions, rants, gossip, slander and yet also honest concerns and questionings. But the one that always gets me come election time is the voice that comes from some believers: “Jesus Should Be President”.
Before you think this is a political rant, let it be known we are simply going to stare at Jesus, who He is and what He claimed and see how well it aligns with those seeking a presidential candidate. Because if we are honest, Jesus as the next United States President is selling this Man way too short. We are setting our gaze and our desires way too low.
Shane Claiborne who co-wrote the best-selling book “Jesus for President” even claims that the title of his book was not to be taken literally, and that “Jesus’ political manifesto is a terrible plan for running a superpower.”
Proclaiming that Jesus would be the best Presidential candidate of this democratic process is simply short-sighted and proves how misinformed we are about His claims as Messiah. How would this one liner sound at a presidential debate?
53 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. -John 5:53-54
We’re not just talking about some prophet, some moving speaker, or a philosophical genius, although He can certainly claim all of those. We’re dealing with the Man who had the audacity to claim that He is the rightful ruler of all the Gentile nations and the character and integrity to judge the living and dead.
Imagine a political candidate coming out and sharing their ambitious platform with their audience: “So… I’m set on every nation which I personally helped create, every person who has ever breathed air (which I currently control as well) to give me their unfailing allegiance and love. Its actually treason to claim any other name but mine. Oh… and if/when you die, we’re gonna have a conversation about every iota of your existence because you have eternal value to Me.”
Whew… that wouldn’t go over to well.
What we (myself included) sometimes fail to see is that this Jesus, the One that first loved us by violently being hung on a tree, views our little Gentile nation a little differently than anyone else. Every other nation on the planet can see the vast influence, outreach, and impact 250+ years that America(!) has made and yet, in the broad scheme and course of redemptive history, our story is still just a blip on the eternal timeline.
Are we important? Yes! Are we still valuable in the eyes of God? Yes! But we are among the hundreds of Gentile nations that have had a point on this timeline and were part of a larger ongoing narrative. What we would call the good, bad, and the ugly of civilizations: Incan, Mayan, Egyptian, Babylonians, Persian, Rome, Greece, Ottoman Empire, Nazi Germany, even those distant islands that you forget completely about from sixth grade geography… We are the puzzle pieces among a greater jigsaw puzzle.
The main Gentile corruption of the gospel in the NT was not focused on how to enter into the promises of God, which is by faith in the sacrifice of the Messiah, but instead what now are the promises of God? In other words, the enduring question among us Gentile nations and the resounding rallying cry from every political candidate who has ever lived is “Where is this thing heading?”
And our Jewish Jesus might have a different answer than what many of us Gentiles might like: “I’m returning to this very planet to set up a physical, eternal kingdom in Jerusalem where only righteousness dwells and wickedness is expelled. I’ll be king over ALL the nations and they will flow to Mount Zion to be taught by God and offer their undying adoration.” (Isa. 2, Zech 14)
Let us remember who this Man really is. Let us know Him and the hope of His calling as Messiah (Eph. 1:17-19) so that we can esteem Him rightly and understand where we (as Americans) are in this greater story on a greater timeline than just our election every four years.
You can read more from Kyle’s archive here or follow him on Twitter @kyle_borg