JESUS CHRIST (YESHUA HAMASHIACH) THE POLITICIAN?

 

Ask most Mothers what their daily routine entails and you might think that they misheard the question. Through their description, many could pass as a candidate for any one of these vocations: a Teacher, a Chef, a Doctor, a Carpenter, a Quiz Master, a Plumber, a Cleaner, a Taxi Driver…need I go on?

 

Of course the term ‘Mother’ is an appropriate choice of word to describe a woman who lovingly chooses to use her time, skills and effort to ensure that her children are cared for as they grow up.  However, one could argue that there are many subtitles that make up the role that a mother plays in the life of her child(ren).  

 

This analogy could be used in a host of examples and leads me to our focus, was Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) a Politician?


In search for this answer, let’s look at the definition of politics as a concept.  But first, it is appropriate to point out that ‘Yeshua Hamashiach’ is the Hebrew term for Jesus the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (1a).  However, reference to Christ or Jesus Christ will be made for clarity throughout this article.

 

The Oxford dictionary defines politics as this: ‘The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.’(1b)

 

Collins dictionary states: ‘Politics are the actions or activities concerned with achieving and using power in a country or society.’(2)

 

Let’s pause to address the elephant in the room and unpack the notion of politics.  It is no secret that the word ‘politics’ has a negative connotation with many people. It is a word often connected with lies, deceit, corruption and power. Interestingly, both dictionary definitions associate the word with power, however it is the perception of the individual to judge whether this power is for good or for bad.

 

For the sake of this article we will take the definitions in their purest sense coupled with the idea of what politics shouldbe, the activities that concern the use of power to effectively lead a country or society in an organised, systemised way for the benefit of the people.   After all, we need a starting point.

 

To decide if Christ was a politician, we would have to consider the question, ‘was Christ involved in politics?

In other words, was Jesus Christ involved in theactivities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power? Or as Collins might but it, was Christ involved in the actions or activities concerned with achieving and using power in a country or society?

 

On the surface, one could argue ‘No’ on the premise that when Jesus walked the earth, His objective was to give life, and His concern was not primarily for this life, but for another.  

John 3:1616 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 

But let’s dig a little deeper…It is clear that when Christ came, his ultimate mission was to save mankind from ‘the wages of sin’ (Romans 6:23) through His death and resurrection for those who would believe. So to give Him a title it might be fitting to call Him our Saviour.  However, like the title of a gifted Mother, do we limit His role and unwittingly overlook His influence by not recognising the breadth of roles that He fulfilled whilst on earth?  It could be argued that Jesus was a Son, a Brother, a Friend, a Teacher, an Activist, a Role Model, a Doctor, a Counsellor, an Inventor and a Carpenter (amongst many other titles).  You could argue that His mission was to expose His power so that others might believe. Upon reflection, how can the One who obtains all power in the first place aim to gain power?  

 

So in the context of politics, unlike the battles that we see between parties today, Jesus already had power and therefore can be separated from the contest of ‘achieving power’ to gain political influence.  You could say, He was a party in and of Himself.  And His opposition? The enemy formally known as satan in the form of any individual, object or belief that opposed what He set out to do - to show the world as He so eloquently put it: ‘…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’John 14:6

 

With the power struggle a non-factor in this example, one might now ask, if Jesus had power, did He use His power in the form of actions or activities to shape a country?

Again on the surface we could argue ‘No’.

Mark 16:15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  

John 6:51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

 

He did not come to shape just a country, He came to shape the world!

 

However, as we analyse this, maybe His actions were comparable to that of a politician who aims were to govern a country.  Although we cannot compare the grand scale of the world to a country, in order to achieve His aims, Christ’s followers would have had to reach individuals one country at a time.

 

Jesus had an advantage.  Unlike conventional politicians, He already knew who would form a part of His ‘Party Membership’ before He even began His ‘Political Campaign.’

 

So what are some of these actions and activities that are associated with politics and although He had power, could some of the tactics Jesus used to spread His message compare to some of the practices we see within politics today?

 

It is fair to use the steps of starting a Political Party outlined in an independent report as a framework to assess Christ’s activities (3):

 

How to start your own party:

 

1) Choose a name            

 

As much as we can scour the Bible for a name to summarise the agenda of salvation that Jesus had, there is only one name that is fitting: Acts 4:10-12 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christof Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. So the name of His movement would have been ‘Jesus Christ’or in Hebrew – ‘Yeshua Hamashiach.’

 

2) Make it official

The next step to starting a party in the 21stCentury is to make the party official by registering the party’s respective documents with the official registration body.  Of course, back in 30 AD there was no registration body upon which one could approach.  Instead, the ruling party or in the case as it was back then, the individualwith the most brawn led the country (or countries). The Roman Empire was governed by an autocracy where it was the emperor who had the influence of power on the masses.

 

3) Form a political party

 

At the time of Christ’s mission during the three years leading to His death, Caesar Augustus controlled the Roman empire. “Its many provinces were governed with a heavy hand, yet with some local autonomy. In Israel, the Jews were allowed to maintain their religion and culture. While rulers like Caesar Augustus and Herod Antipas were essentially figureheads, the Sanhedrin, or national council, still held power over many aspects of daily life.”  (4) With the Romans at the helm, we can conclude that there was no room for democracy and the idea of a Jew standing against the first emperor in the ancient Roman Empire would have been rejected and even worthy of death.  

 

As it happens, despite these restrictions, Jesus stood for what He believed in, gathered many supporters and certainly did suffer death in protest of a more than worthy cause.  Yet contrary to the attempt to oppose a political system that would govern an area or a country, His death became the fulfilment of a moment that was planned for the world - before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1). And although He had the power to persuade the masses, as is the nature of God, He allowed those around Him to choose His way, or that of the world (John 14:6).

 

So all things considered, it could be argued that Jesus formed the resemblance of a Political Party, He lead a movement that was unlike what the world had known at that time. This Party offered choice, solutions and aspirations that are integral to what people long for in a Party today.  There are clear parallels between the way He operated and the system that we have become accustomed to as ‘politics’ today.

 

4) Draw up a manifesto

 

Did Jesus have a manifesto?  Well according to Oxford dictionary, a manifesto is: ‘A public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.’  Four words. Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).If that is not a manifesto then what is?  A clear depiction of how mankind is expected to live. A clear mandate for all who would take heed.  Not forgetting the law in which Jesus represents. Matthew 5:17‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.’  Again, it was all a matter of choice, as is a modern manifesto, leaving clear guidelines and clear consequences to actions.

 

5) Get your cheque book out

 

If there was one thing that most can agree on, it is the conclusion that Jesus was not a rich man. Matthew 8:20  ‘And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ Yet the resources of heaven were at His fingertips. Matthew 26:53‘Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?’ Though He used His might not to perpetuate a single agenda but rather, as the direct result of His mission to minister to His people through healing (John 5),provision (Luke 5:5-6) amongst many other miracles. So whilst He did not have access to cash as we know it, He certainly used His talents and available resources to support His overall mission.  One might argue the parallels this has to a campaign in that, candidates, party members and general supporters use what is accessible to them in order to further their message.

 

6) Find a wealth backer

Optional. Although He had the host of heaven to back Him up, Christ used his influence and ministry to spread His message throughout His campaign.

 

7) Recruit some candidates

If Jesus was a Party Leader and salvation was His campaign, then the Disciples were His candidates (Matthew 10).

 

8) Launch your campaign

Christ’s campaign was unique in that it was designed before the foundation of the world. Again Matthew 10 outlines much of His agenda.


 

Was Christ political? 

Oxford dictionary states – Political: Relating to the government or public affairs of a country.

 

What does the Bible say concerning government and Jesus? Isaiah 9:6-7– ‘6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’

Jesus has all authority over the government, in fact, He has His own government and His own kingdom!

It appears that the government to which the Bible refers concerns the government of the kingdom to come.  However, we cannot ignore the fact that to benefit from the government of the heavenly kingdom, one must live in the correct manner within the world as we know it, that includes obeying the laws of the authorities as written by Paul, a bondservant of Jesus(Romans 13).  WhenJesus walked the earth He was concerned will the whole of humanity, He desired to reach everyone and allowed them to freely make their decisions. He respected the government of the time but did not allow laws that contradicted His views to impede His ultimate decisions. Jesus said: ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Luke 5:32)

 

Christ certainly was political.  He was concerned with public affairs but beyond the material outcomes of policy, His priority surrounded matters of the heart.  He understood the benefits of righteous living on earth as well as the impact that it would have in the afterlife (Matthew 5-7). His message was to reform mankind, a message that if embraced to its full extent, would absolutely transform hearts, areas, countries and the world.

 

The very fabric of each society is to some extent affected by politics.  This makes politics a very important topic and one in which we should all be engaged.

 

Many Christians shy away from the discussion of ‘politics’. There are many reasons for this however, the general consensus appears to be that Christians are to be separated from the world. Romans 12:2is often quoted within this debate: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’

But has this scripture been taken out of context?  In John 17:15Jesus clearly says: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.’  In the same chapter we also read in verse 18‘As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.’  It is clear that Jesus wanted His followers to be in the world for a particular purpose, but not to be caught up with the evil of this world.

 

So does God approve of all leaders in power?

As one article stipulates, ‘Simply because something occurs under God’s providence does not mean that He approves of it or desires that it happens. For example, Scripture tells us that we are all sinners, but we know that God neither approves of our sin, nor does He desire for us to continue sinning. God provides grace for sinners, and the greater the sin, the greater God’s grace…Fast forward to today. Is God sovereign? Yes. Do we have choices in the course of human events? Yes. Are we held responsible for the choices we make? Yes. Does God’s sovereignty give us license to make poor decisions? No it does not.’ (5)

As far as voting is concerned, many times God has no choice but to appoint ungodly leaders because there is simply no other choice in an opponent. Christians would quite happily work, pay taxes and by doing so, support a system that has antichrist features, but don't ask them to get involved in the decisions that create such systems. No ’that's not our calling’ their attitudes imply.

Just because politics is not overtly pointed out in the Bible, it does not mean we should not attempt to administer God-fearing leaders. There are times when we have to take the Word in its entirety and apply it to our current state of play.

When Jesus walked the earth, there were no democratic options. The rulers ruled and that was it. Now, we do have options and we leave them in the hands of authorities who so often oppose our principles and frequently even our very needs.

And what about the work ethic?

The Bible clearly endorses work. Is the role of a Politician not a job?

Proverbs 12:24 - Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labour.

Proverbs 14:23 - All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

2018 has seen a lot of tragedy and a lot of high-profile exposure of the exploitation of individuals in positions of power.  Instead of complaining about our society, isn't it about time we did something about it?

By appointing Christian leaders, the effects will not just impact your country of residence, but would undoubtedly have an influence on a global scale. To have a leader as a ‘light’ in a place of prominence, at the very least, should enthuse other Christians to consider their roles within their place of influence. Matthew 5:15- Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.



It's not always about winning!

Of course by supporting Christian candidates or even running for office ourselves the ultimate aim is to win. But there is a byproduct of even entering into a political race. It inspires others and can cause them to be more critical, analytical and outspoken about policies that affect them.

Think about some of the major changes in modern human history. The abolition of slavery, the Civil Rights movement, voting rights and the list goes on. All major societal changes have a foundation in politics and each change required an advocate in order to be implemented.

As Christians, we have the advantage because God has given us clear mandates of how to live and therefore how to rule. Colossians 3:23- Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

So to those who believe that Christians should not be involved in politics, my question is this…If Christians are not represented in politics but we are expected to submit to the authorities, then do we create a rod for our own back when we refuse to get involved? Proverbs 29:2states- ‘When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.’

Proverbs 16:12states ‘It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.’  And 1 Timothy 2:1-2 states‘First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.’  If the Bible reflects the mind of God, then from these scriptures it becomes clear that God desires godly leadership and therefore godly leaders to be in positions of power.  If this is the case, then Christians can and must strive to ensure that they do all they can to ensure they have a godly representative in a position of power.  After all, the Bible provides the perfect directive for how we ought to live.  Romans 12 provides yet another example of how we are to govern.

To recap, theoretically speaking, whilst He walked the earth, Jesus fulfilled the steps that it takes to start a political party, He had definite political attributes, He owns government and He advocates living according to the laws of the land. So, was Christ political? Yes.  Was Christ a politician?  He was foremost our Saviour but as far as one of His many roles was concerned when He walked the earth then yes, He was a Politician.

What does this mean for you and I?

Politics is a hugely important topic. It governs every aspect of modern life and as Christians, it is imperative to have Politicians who represent our values.  If we refuse to support godly people in politics, then how can we complain when parties are appointed who oppose those values that are dear to us? Can we be surprised if politics is now associated with lies, deceit and corruption?

History has undoubtedly played its role where politics is concerned.  For many centuries the common man has been left without a voice and therefore a choice as far as politics has been concerned.  But times have changed and now more than ever in modern history, we have a voice. It’s called the vote!

So don’t delay, do your research.  Look up your local Politicians. Do their policies reflect your opinions?  Beyond the star agendas that they push to the forefront, do you share their aims and values?  If not, maybe it’s time to suggest alternative options. Find out if there has been a more fitting candidate during a recent election and reach out to them.  Maybe they need the encouragement?  Ask them how you could support them.  Or maybe you could stand as a candidate within the next local or general election? Research, research, research and pray always.  Unless we stand up or what we believe we cannot complain about the future of our communities, countries, and world.  This is not about preserving the world, as believers we know our ultimate fate, but whilst we live on this earth we have a duty to do the best that we can to create a world that reflects the kingdom to come.  We have the talents. It’s about time we used them.

God bless you and peace be with you.


Product of Yeshua (Political Party)

15.04.18




References:

(1a)https://www.gotquestions.org/Yeshua-Hamashiach.html

(1b) https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/politics

(2) https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/politics

(3) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7963814.stm

(4) https://www.thoughtco.com/caesar-augustus-first-roman-emperor-701063

(5) https://relevantmagazine.com/god/does-bible-really-mean-god-appoints-our-leaders