People have been squeezing Jesus into their mold and using him for their purposes for centuries. Everyone with an opinion about anything, is pretty sure that Jesus supports them. In the realm of theology and politics, both the liberal and the conservative persuasions have adopted a Jesus that fits their mold.
It is as if Jesus is the trump card that ends all debate. I love the bumper stickers that read, “Jesus was a Liberal”. It claims such a sweeping knowledge of the mind of God and cuts through all the complexities to clarify that a Rabbi raised in rural Galilee 2000 years ago agreed with a specific political position in America! (I have also noticed that the verb tense on most of these bumper stickers add a confusing irony. Either he isn’t a liberal anymore, or he just isn’t anymore.)
But I would like to humbly suggest that Jesus is not a democrat or a republican. Jesus is a KING! He bows the knee to NONE. He casts a vote every single election in every single country for all times, and His vote ALWAYS comes to pass. He never loses a vote. So when we elect a republican congress, Jesus didn’t lose the vote . . . When we elect a democratic president Jesus didn’t lose the vote.
To co-opt Jesus for our own political purposes betrays our lack of understanding of who Jesus truly is. He is the Great King! He is the eternal Lord over all history. He is not subject to any vote, and he will never lose dominion. The apostle Peter wrote of Jesus Christ, “To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” And the apostle Paul stated, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
It is easy to use Jesus to our own political ends. We can identify that Jesus was full of compassion and loved the down and out. And we can also identify that he told people to go and sin no more. But anyone who truly comes to study the life of Jesus is going to find that He doesn’t fit into our system, but seeks to be Lord and master OVER our system. He is not asking to be a part of our politics, ethics, or worldview, much less a poster child for our own finite and limited attempts at self governance. He wants to radically transform our politics, ethics, and worldview.
Jesus truly poses challenges to liberals and conservatives alike. Jesus is not a trump card. Jesus is not a poster child. Jesus is not liberal. Jesus is not conservative. Jesus is not a useful tool to win an argument. And Jesus certainly is not limited by any human institution or governing body. Jesus is the sovereign Lord and King. He is ruler. He votes every election! And He has never lost an election!
[The graphic attached to this post is not my own political opinion, but is the thing that spurred this blog. Feel free to comment with ways that you have seen Jesus co-opted.