Beyond politics - Hope 103.2

Beyond politics

By David ReayThursday 26 Mar 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Mark 12:13-17

13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 14 “Teacher,” they said,”we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favourites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us-is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay them,or shouldn’t we?”

Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said,”Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin,and I’ll tell you.” 16 When they handed it to him,he asked,”Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 “Well,then,” Jesus said,”give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,and give to God what belongs to God.”

His reply completely amazed them. (NLT)

It is still possible to hear certain Christian voices telling us that God is on the side of one particular political party or grouping. As if this isn’t bad enough,we get those on the left telling us that their way is the only godly way,and those on the right solemnly warning us that unless we join them we are unwittingly part of a Satanic conspiracy against Jesus.

It is so dangerous-and so common-for Christians to confuse party-political allegiance with allegiance to Jesus. We are tempted to think that political organisations will be the means by which we extend the kingdom of God. It is a vain hope. Certainly we can join political groups and get involved in party politics. Certainly we can have our preferences and argue for them.

But beware the appeal that tries to associate the cause of Jesus with a certain brand of politics. Jesus is on the side of justice,kindness,holiness,mercy. Politicians of the left,the right and the centre are all capable of supporting these things or undermining them. No one side has a monopoly on godliness.

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Perhaps this is what Jesus was saying when he refused to be drawn into the politics of his day. The political leaders have their place,their responsibility. They deserve our respect. But over and above this there is allegiance to Jesus.

By all means advocate for your political grouping,but never assume it is the only way to follow Jesus or assume that those who don’t agree are failing to so follow him.

David Reay