Jesus’ Political Ambitions

MONDAY, JULY 4, 2016

Putting Politics in Perspective

Government is not the hope of the world; Christ and the community of the beloved, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb are! – Bryan Loritts (Lead pastor at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, California)

Key Bible Verse: John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?'” (Luke 7:20)

Dig Deeper: Luke 7

When Jesus came claiming that he was the long-awaited Messiah, the promised One, some Jews were waiting for him to ignite a political revolution that would take direct aim at mighty Rome. When Jesus chose Simon the Zealot to be one of his disciples, their excitement spiked, because the Zealots were revolutionaries.

But they soon found themselves disappointed when Matthew was selected. Matthew was a Jewish tax collector, collecting taxes at unjust rates from his Jewish brothers and sisters and taking part of those proceeds to help fund the very empire that was oppressing his people.

By choosing Matthew, along with going to parties where tax collectors fraternized with one another, the average Jew had to assume that there was no way Jesus could have been the Messiah. After all, if one’s going to start a political revolution, he needs to hang out with Simon’s crowd, not Matthew’s. But Jesus’ political ambitions were a lot different from the expectations of his kinsmen.

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