Cover 2016-11-13

Ron Writes

How did Jesus Vote?

The elections are over. Half the country is elated! The other half is disappointed. Perhaps the greatest shock was how emotional and volatile the discussions had become. Even among Christians. Why must there be the demonization of everyone who disagrees. There’s that wise old saying, “don’t discuss religion or politics.” What happens when religion and politics collide?

It’s easy to quickly read over the list of the 12 men Jesus chose as apostles. Two however stand out for their political beliefs. Two are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. They are referred to in the list as “Matthew the tax collector” and “Simon the Zealot” (Mt. 10:3-4).

As a tax collector, Matthew had a government job. He worked for the Roman government. He was collecting the heavy taxes that were crushing many Jewish households. No one likes paying taxes. It’s even more repulsive when it’s taxation without representation. The Jews came to hate these men. They considered them traitors and turncoats. Some were thieves and overcharged their Jewish neighbors.

On the other extreme is Simon. He was a Zealot. Zealots hated the Roman Empire. They were actively fighting for the violent overthrow of the Roman government. They refused to pay taxes. The name comes from the zeal and the intense passion they had for their cause.

You can’t be more politically divided than these two, yet Jesus wanted them both to be followers. What happened? Did their ideas change? Certainly, their focus changed. Jesus became their priority. Today, their political positions seem so irrelevant. There was something worth uniting over that was greater than their political passions. There’s no record of Jesus discussing politics with either one. Neither were rebuked for their positions. He didn’t argue or take sides. He merely said, “follow me.”

I don’t mind Christians being zealous about politics. I just wish they would be as vocal and as passionate about Jesus.