This blog post is part of my year-long series of posts on the New Testament. My church is on a year-long journey called Project 3:45, where we are reading the New Testament together this year. To join in, click here.
Reading Luke 4 solidifies in my head something I’ve thought for a long time: Jesus would be a horrible presidential candidate. Americans just wouldn’t vote for him. Although he’s described as the king of kings, he’s a completely different kind of king than we would expect and I just don’t think he’d make it through the primary season.
He TURNS DOWN the chance to have all the money and power in the world when given the opportunity. (Luke 4:5-8)
He favors the weak and oppressed, the overlooked and forgotten rather than the power players. (Luke 4:17-21)
He refuses to pander to his own base to win their support by telling them what they want to hear. Instead, he tells them what he’s doing isn’t all about them, it’s about other people. Consequently, they get so angry that they try to throw him off a cliff. (Luke 4:23-29)
He refuses an endorsement by silencing someone who tries to tell other people who he really is, the “holy one of God.” (Luke 4:33-35.)
He spends a large amount of time with people who were shunned or marginalized because of their disease. (Luke 4:41)
He removes himself from crowds, disconnects from other people, unplugs from the outside world so that he can pray alone, and he leaves jobs undone even when his advisors tell him not to so that he can preach about God’s kingdom. (Luke 4:42-43)
The pundits and talking heads would talk about the disorganization of his campaign, the primary voters would get mad because he wouldn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, those in authority would reject him because his policies wouldn’t favor the powerful but the weak. I seriously doubt that Jesus would even get close to 10% of the vote in a nation in which 80% of the people claim to be Christians. Does that mean Jesus needs to change his position on some key issues? Or is it that American Christians need to reconsider our own stances? Just something to think about…