Recently I was asked, “Who would Jesus vote for?”
That’s a great, challenging, and yes, controversial question. Whenever we speak of Jesus as followers of Jesus, we incur greater judgment on our words. When we wield political influence in the name of Jesus, we have to be oh so careful.
Jesus lived in a time when democracies didn’t exist in the world. Jesus was never allowed to vote for a political leader. He was subject to the Emperor of Rome just like every other professing follower of Yahweh or regular citizen of Rome.
At various times in the Gospels during the time Jesus was on earth, the politics of the day and the faith Jesus came to establish in His name for salvation collided with one another.
I thought it would be appropriate to examine this a bit and then answer the question, “Who would Jesus vote for in the 2020 election if he were here voting with us this November?” To answer this question, we have to go back and understand who Jesus is, who is ruler of this world, and how Jesus would engage it if he were living in a democracy in his time?
We see early on that when Jesus began his ministry, IMMEDIATELY, the Devil came to tempt him in various ways. One of those ways we see here…
Matthew 4:8-9 The devil took Him (Jesus) up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
The devil was simply offering Jesus political authority over all the kingdoms of this world.
Why was the devil able to do this? Jesus tells his disciples that before He is to be crucified that he won’t talk much with them anymore because…
John 14:30 …the ruler of this world (The Devil) is coming…
In God’s sovereignty, He has given Satan rulership of this world, for a time. We see this in Paul’s writings as well…
Ephesians 2:2 the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
Look at how Jesus responds to the Devil’s political offer…
Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Jesus rejected the political authority Satan offered Him. But why? Jesus explains later to his disciples…
John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Jesus NEVER came to establish a political Kingdom on this existing earth. This world has been given into the hands of the Enemy. Jesus came to rescue as many as possible from the snares of this world.
Now with that said, Jesus lived in a political world just like we do. He didn’t put his head in the sand and ignore that and neither should we. His intent for His coming and His interaction with a political world is two different questions or perspectives of the same topic.
How did Jesus interact with political matters when they collided with the kingdom of God He came to establish? We see in Matthew…
Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. (political leaders) “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?”
In essence they were saying to him, “Since you are above the present political system of our day, then what do you think about paying taxes to this system?”
Look how Jesus responds…
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So, they left him and went away.
Jesus does not want His kingdom to primarily be focused on suppressing or insulting the political kingdom of this world. However, even Jesus had his limits…
Luke 13:31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.
Here is the principle, when the purpose of the Kingdom of God has to collide with the political kingdom of this world, OBEY GOD. Do what He has told you to do.
We see this in Acts…
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
God wants us to respect the political system of our country, however, He does not want us to forfeit His Kingdom to do that. But I think where we as Americans get confused is, “Where does the political kingdom of this world end and God’s Kingdom take precedent? This is a very difficult question. But Jesus tells us that all authority has been given to Him. And we have to remember that all his authority has been given to us. We have within our possession ALL of Jesus’s authority here on earth. He tells us this in the Gospels…so what does He want us to do with that authority…
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus wants us to use His authority NOW to make disciples who follow Him. Thus, our political involvement should be focused on making disciples of Jesus. How we vote, who we vote for, and how we live out our moral and political power and influence should come to, WHO WOULD JESUS VOTE FOR?”
I think He has made it pretty clear. The only person Jesus would vote for is, HIMSELF.
He would have to do a write in ballot every time.
So, I think the more important question is not who would Jesus vote for, but who are you voting for? And why?
My response to that is this, “Everything, including our vote, should be for the sake of making disciples for Jesus.” Render to Caesar what is Caesars but don’t forget to render to Jesus what is His.
If you claim the name of Jesus, then everything you do should be in His authority for His glory to make Him more famous to more people to establish His eternal God Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven.
Will Jesus be made more famous because of your political involvement in the 2020 election?
That’s the MOST important question for us as followers of Jesus Christ, if Jesus is your TRUE President.
May who you vote for in this 2020 election bring MORE glory and fame to the ONLY King, President, and Lord who is worthy of our praise and worship.
Don’t lose sight of your purpose for being here for Jesus, while trying to save this world from the political prince of this world.
Our democracy matters, but Jesus Kingdom matters more!
Written by Pastor Kelly Williams of Vanguard Church