Jesus and Political Landmines

Mark 12:13-17

How many of you have had an argument with a friend about who you are going to vote for, or not vote for? There are a lot of political landmines out there right now! But guess what…Jesus faced them too.

Here are three principles for how he responded to these political questions:

1. Jesus Did Not Oversimplify His Answers.  

Notice that Jesus didn’t ignore the question, like so many do today. But NEITHER did He allow them to define the question.

Our access to online and cable media today is such an amazing thing, isn’t it? We have more information at our fingertips than ever, but most often, what is delivered to us is profoundly over-simplified.

Don’t do to Jesus what He refused to do Himself: don’t categorize Him according to an over-simplified political bent.

2. Jesus Did Not Expect Government to Be God.

When Jesus asked for the coin, he was given a Denarius. Those are relatively easy to come by today (expensive, but available). Many have lasted through the ages. In fact, when you’re in the Holy Land, you can purchase one. They’re also in all the museums.

It’s really interesting to examine the coin Jesus was holding. The image that was on it was Tiberius Caesar. Jesus holds up this coin. Surely this would be the moment where Jesus would strike down the government of Rome once and for all and bring in the RIGHTEOUS Kingdom. But He doesn’t.

What does He say? “This is Caesar’s face on this coin. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Jesus was not overly impressed by Caesar nor overly troubled. Caesar was just Caesar.

We’re not looking for a savior this election to bail us out. We already HAVE a Savior!

3. Jesus Had a Greater Kingdom In Mind

This new understanding of the Kingdom impacts how you view:

First, an understanding of God’s Kingdom takes you out of fear mode and puts you into faith mode. You can and should still have concerns over a 20 trillion dollar national debt. You should still stand for justice among innocent lives. But you do so with a faith that God is able to bring about lasting, eternal redemption even in the midst of a mess.

Second, you begin to see people on the other side of your arguments as real people who are created by God instead of the enemy. You stop thinking that the people on the left or the right of you are the enemy and you start seeing your heart when it is self-sufficient is the enemy.

Third, you participate in the political process when you have the opportunity as an ambassador from the Kingdom of God. It’s not your agenda anymore, or your parents’ party’s agenda, but God’s agenda that drives you. And that might mean you have to listen without getting defensive and move past the myth that you have to find someone who is just like you to vote for.

But most importantly, you seek first the OTHER Kingdom – the rule and reign of Christ in your own life, and seek to be His hands and feet and voice to those around you.

 Discussion question: How do you answer political questions?

 Key Question: Have you been hoping in the wrong kingdom???

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