Jesus, Protests and Politics...
Revolution seems to be in vogue these days. Protests, demonstrations, candidate speeches, and riots are all over the television. My attention is peaked whenever I see a news article or interview in regards to the most famous revolutionary of all. That would be Jesus Christ.
What I notice is that every group jumps on the Jesus bandwagon. Everyone wants to claim Jesus as his or her religious poster child for his or her cause. Even atheist Richard Dawkins has gotten in on the action. In a recent interview he said that if Jesus were around today he would have been an atheist. CNN ran a story where they debated whether or not Jesus would support the Occupy Wall Street protests. Let’s not forget all the Republican candidates that are running for president because Jesus told them to.
So what would it look like if Jesus were practicing his ministry in our times?
I don’t see things being any different. People have been jumping on the Jesus bandwagon since day one. Jesus’ own disciples viewed him as an opportunity to gain power. Two of them argued about which one was going to sit on his right side when he became king. Many of his followers saw him as a political leader that was going to overthrow the evil Roman government and establish the righteous Jewish nation again. Others saw him as an opportunity to get something for nothing.
Would that be any different today? Herman Cain and Michelle Bachman would fight over his endorsement. Jim Wallis would beg for his blessing to redistribute wealth. Rick Warren would want to co-write a book with Jesus. Hollywood celebrities would flock to have a photo op with the miracle worker. Focus on the Family would want Jesus to have a weekly broadcast. Glenn Beck would give him airtime on GBTV. President Obama would invite him to the White House. Bono would ask him to go on tour with him. Richard Dawkins and all the learned men of our time would meet with Jesus and ask questions about the nature of the universe.
All of this is quite similar to what people did in Jesus’ time. People now and then will try to claim him as their own. They find parts of his message they find appealing and then run with it.
If only it were that simple.
Cain and Bachman will receive no endorsement. Jim Wallis will be turned away. Rick Warren will not be writing a book with him. Hollywood will be turned off by his intolerant message. Focus on the Family will be outraged at Jesus’ for hanging out with porn stars and gays instead of being on their show. Jesus will say, “Glenn Beck who?” Jesus doesn’t go to the White House. The White House goes to Jesus. I think Bono would drop everything and follow Jesus. Richard Dawkins will walk away troubled by the nature of his conversation with Jesus. That’s what normally happens when the creator of the universe looks you square in the face.
In the gospels we find that Jesus’ ministry lasted about three years. In the beginning Jesus had a large following and everyone loved his message. He challenged the establishment and spoke of a greater kingdom and society than what they lived in at the time. He spoke of love and peace. He performed miracles and healed the sick. He fed the hungry. He convicted the rich and praised the poor. He rebuked the know-it-alls of this day. That’s a lot of hope and change.
Something happened toward the end though. The deeper you go with Jesus the more uncomfortable you become. The more you get to know Jesus the more you realize that he’s not on your bandwagon. He doesn’t support your cause. Jesus has his own agenda and it doesn’t involve politics or prestige. The more you listen to him the more you find out that he’s not interested in the troubles of the times.
He’s interested in YOU.
Just as in Jesus’ time the story would play out the same today. Once people realize that Jesus is not on their bandwagon they will leave. Those that Jesus had called out or rebuked will use the negative public opinion to attack him. Those who were protesting and campaigning in his name will be the first to slander him on television and in print. One of his closest disciples will become so disappointed in him that he will sell Jesus out for a few bucks.
For those of us who know him, we will never leave.
We are part of the REAL revolution.
We know who He is.
We know why He came.
We answered the call and left the protests and political parties behind.
We believe Him to be who He claimed to be.
He is the Creator of the Universe.
The Great I Am.
The Son of God.