I’LL GIVE YOU THIS MUCH: Jesus never told anyone how to vote, as far as I know. He couldn’t vote. Nor could anyone else in his part of the world. His country was occupied and ruled by an autocrat—a dictator in Rome.
Jesus did, however, tell his followers what kind of people he wanted to see in positions of leadership.
Not on his list were
- pathological liars
- and would-be rulers who treat fear like it’s the source of power.
Which is why it’s important for Americans to vote today.
Below is a description of the kind of people Jesus said should be our leaders. I know many would say that Jesus was talking about religion and not politics.
They are wrong, of course. The advice Jesus gave came from what started as a political question. In the Kingdom of God, politics and religion go together. One reflects the other, at least here on Earth’s branch of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus told us what kind of leaders we should follow. Some of them are running for office today. They fit the description Jesus gave Zebedee’s boys, James and John.
James and John: “Teacher, there’s something we would like you to do for us.”
Jesus: “Okay, what is it you want me to do for you?”
James and John: “When you become king and sit on your throne in glory, give us the two top positions in your kingdom.”
Jesus (calls all the disciples over): “You’ve seen how rulers of other nations work. They’re supposed to lead their people. Instead, they flaunt authority and dominate their people. That’s not how it’s going to work for you. If you want to become a great leader, you have to become a great servant. If you want the top position, assume the servant’s position. Even the Son of Humans has to do that. He didn’t come here so everyone could serve him. He came to serve them” (Mark 10: 35-45 Casual English Bible).
Some Christians will vote for people who don’t fit the description Jesus gave. That’s their choice and they will answer for it, if the Bible writers got their accountability sermons right.
Many say they feel the need for a strong leader. But who is weaker than a bully picking on a little guy, and who is stronger than a King on a cross?
However we vote, we can be grateful that in our country we still have the fragile privilege of voting our beliefs—something many of us are no longer taking for granted. And the message of the day should probably be to vote.
Someone in my Bible study group on Sunday asked how to vote. No one answered. That’s partly because no one would listen. And it’s partly because the optimists among us believe that voters who cherish honesty, compassion, and love of others more than love of self vastly outnumber the voters who don’t.
Pardon the religion and politics. But given the dramatic and disturbing changes that have been taking place in our nation and in many other nations of the world, this may be a day when Christians need to show some resemblance to Christ.