The Political Implications of Jesus
We saw yesterday that it doesn’t really work to say that Jesus wasn’t interested in politics. It’s true that he never encouraged or required political action of the kind we typically consider. He never called his followers to be a voting block. They didn’t hand out voting guides at the Sermon on the Mount. But that’s just viewing politics as business of the state. That’s just concerned with gaining and exercising power. Jesus had a radically different view of power. Jesus never saw power as a means of enforcing his will. Jesus saw power as an opportunity to serve. That means, if we are to take Jesus seriously, there are political implications.
Jesus’ teachings, when applied and lived out, challenge unjust political systems, upending oppression by offering a promise of life in a kingdom characterized by justice and truth and freedom.
Jesus did not demand the abolition of slavery. But aren’t you glad that his followers eventually did?
Jesus never built an orphanage or a hospital. But aren’t you glad that his followers eventually did?
These are legitimate results of Jesus’ teachings internalized and lived out. They are based on the clear biblical teachings about the value and dignity of human life and the demands compassion makes. Why would we think political action (which is often nothing more than love seeking justice for the oppressed) should be anything other than this?