The political Jesus - Hope 103.2

The political Jesus

By David ReayFriday 23 Jun 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Matthew 5:17

17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. (NLT)

Over the years, many people have tried to enlist Jesus on their side of the political divide. The radical neo-Marxists in Latin America tried to make him one of their own, reducing his message to one of replacing the wicked capitalists with the righteous underclass. The ‘Religious Right’ in the USA have sought to identify Jesus with free-market capitalism, minimal government, and less taxation (especially for the well-off).

In the end, you can’t tie Jesus down like that. He can see the strengths of capitalism, Marxism or any other ‘ism’. But he can also see the deeper flaws. They are all offshoots of humanity which has strayed far from his ways. He stubbornly refuses to be reduced to someone else’s political agenda. He will not be used as a vote winner or people pleaser.

Something of this comes out in our text today. Jesus speaks both as a conservative and a radical. He is conservative in that he wants to retain the essential principles of the Old Testament law. In so doing, he might be expected to please the religious leaders. But then he upsets that constituency by claiming to reinterpret those same laws.

Jesus will not submit to being labelled right-wing or left-wing, traditional or progressive. He insists on God’s agenda rather than anyone else’s. All that makes him both a terribly incompetent politician but a wonderful Lord and Saviour.

David Reay