I guess it depends on who you are with when the statement comes up: would Jesus be a Republican or a Democrat. If you are among a cultural group that traditionally votes Democrat, Jesus would vote Democrat. If you were to ask why, you would get some very good reasons why Jesus would vote Democrat. If you are among a cultural group that traditionally votes Republican, Jesus would vote Republican. If you were to ask why, you would get some very good reasons why Jesus would vote Republican. If you came at this from an open-minded perspective, things could get confusing. Most people, though, think that God is on their side. It was Abraham Lincoln who put things in their proper place when asked if God was on his side. He responded by saying that he hoped he was on God’s side.
Jesus was a revolutionary, but He was not a political revolutionary. He didn’t rock the vote; He didn’t demand that people follow Him to overthrow the Romans. No, He was revolutionary in redefining how people entered the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom was available to all people, according to this revolutionary. The way to heaven was not filled with pitfalls, rules, and regulation; it was through Him. The disciples when sent out had two responsibilities: proclaim the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2)
Those are the marching orders of God’s people today: proclaim the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. We might expand on that last part and say “meet needs.” Welcoming people to the Kingdom of God is a revolutionary act. It goes beyond politics. It worries political and religious leaders who seek to control the thoughts and the lives of their followers. This is why the gospel is outlawed or severely restricted in over 50 countries. Many Christians in America would say that their freedoms are being restricted in different areas. Even in a country that claims a Christian heritage, people whose allegiance is to the one true God are dangerous. The other side of our message is to meet needs. I extend that because Jesus hasn’t given me the power to heal the sick, but I can meet needs. I won’t list specific needs here because those needs change. As followers of Christ who live in His grace, we don’t work off of lists, we follow Him. What we don’t do in meeting needs is set criteria for behavior before we will meet needs. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery first, then told her to go and sin no more.
It is so tempting to focus on politics as the last hope for America. Depending on who you listen to, the Democrat is the last hope for America or the Republican is. While a large part of the country is arguing about that, Libertarians sit on the side, look at the results of the arguments and say, “I told you so.” Whatever your political flavor may be, the only hope for America, for our world is Jesus Christ. And so the message of Jesus to His twelve disciples rings true for us today: proclaim the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. If each person who claimed to follow Jesus actually did this only one time each day, what kind of difference would that make?
Lord God, it is so easy to get sidetracked on politics because the person I support is so right and everyone else is so wrong. Remind me of the call that You have placed on my life. Help me today so that I might proclaim the Kingdom of God to at least one person and meet at least one need. Help me to do that each and every day.