Not Of This World

My King is not like the rulers of this world. His Kingdom is not of this world. He tells us that. And he shows us that his ways and his methods and his forms are nothing like those of this world.

So why do we keep wanting to use the world’s ways and methods and forms?

Why do we think politics is the way to get things done for God’s Kingdom? Why do we think power and force and voting and petitions and boycotts and campaigns and rallies and protests are the way to accomplish our God’s plans for his creation?

All Christians have to vote Republican because Jesus is against the gay marriage position of the Democrats. No, all Christians have to vote Democrat because Jesus is against the war policies of the Republicans. No, the Church has to support the Republican party because of Jesus’ teachings against abortion. No, the Church has to support the Democratic party because of Jesus’ teachings against the gap between the rich and the poor.

If we’re going to think and talk and act this way, we might as well start waving palm branches like the crowds in Jerusalem who wanted Jesus to overthrow the Roman oppressors and establish an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem. Those people wanted to use Jesus for a political revolt. They wanted national and social and economic revolution in the name of the Messiah. They wanted Roman blood to flow in the streets. Gird your loins and grab your swords! God bless Israel!

If we think and talk and act this way, we’re forcing the children of God to choose and then pledge allegiance to the lesser of worldly evils. Jesus did not come so we could be a part of a refurbished and renewed version of the kingdom of the world. Jesus came so we could be a part of the all-new eternal Kingdom of God!

Jesus will never be President of the U.S.A.

One, because he’s not running. Two, because you wouldn’t vote for him if he were running.

Think about Jesus’ platform. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor! Love your enemies! If Jesus had bumper stickers on the back of the donkey he rode into Jerusalem they would say “Be Last!”

“Vote for Jesus! We’re Going to Die!”

Of course, our King doesn’t come with T-shirts and stickers and buttons and hundred million dollar campaigns. He doesn’t save the world with armies and markets and policies. He saves the world through sacrificial love and suffering and service and grace.

Yes, Jesus came to be King. But instead of being crowned with a gold-plated headdress of jewels, he was crowned with painful and penetrating thorns. He did not bear a warrior’s sword or a royal scepter; he was beaten with a whip and a rod. Instead of sitting on a cusioned throne and ruling, Jesus hung on a tree and died. Jesus willingly, deliberately, goes to his own suffering and death for the sake of the world.

If we follow this King as his subjects — and we do! — then we, too, will follow him into Jerusalem to the place of suffering and sacrifice and death. We will say ‘no’ to status and position and glory and wealth and say ‘yes’ to the giving of our own lives. We will reject power and violence and force and accept God’s will and God’s way even in the midst of terrible personal agony. We will refuse to consider our own needs and, instead, be much more concerned with the needs of those around us.

That’s what it means to follow Jesus. To watch him and imitate him. To determine to be right behind him no matter where he goes.



1 Comment

  1. Rob's Dad

    I think people wouldn’t vote for him because all of the pictures are wimpy – it’s a nice, fuzzy backlit picture of a white guy with a well groomed beard and a nice smile.

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