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Don Stewart :: Did Jesus Get Involved in the Contemporary Politics in Israel?

Don Stewart

Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Christ. He had the right to rule over the entire nation of Israel. However, when we look at the public ministry of Jesus, we find that he avoided any involvement in the current political issues of his day.

Jesus Did Not Speak Out On Current Political Issures

There is nothing recorded in the New Testament about Jesus Christ speaking out against any of the political issues of His day. Nothing in His teachings gives even the slightest hint that He had any political involvement.

He Refused To Be Made King

In fact, Jesus refused to lead any political movement. He resisted when the people wanted to make Him king.

Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself (John 6:15).

Not To Tell Others He Was Messiah

When Jesus acknowledged that he was the Messiah, he did not allow his disciples to publicly tell others.

Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ (Matthew 16:20).

He Told No One To Tell Of His Transfiguration

Jesus told His disciples that they were to tell no one about his Transfiguration.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead (Matthew 17:9).

Jesus Withdrew From Confrontation

Jesus also withdrew from confrontation with the religious rulers.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was (Matthew 12:15,16).

Jesus Did Not Incite The People Against Rome

Although Jesus did not incite the people against Rome, this was one of the charges brought before Pilate by the religious leaders.

But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here" (Luke 23:5).

Jesus Refused To Get Entangled In A Political Debate

Jesus refused to get into a debate about paying taxes to Rome.

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away (Matthew 22:15-22).

Jesus Behavior Was In Contrast To False Messiahs

Jesus behavior was in contrast to some false Messiahs that preceded him. Scripture records some of these failed attempts.

For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered (Acts 5:36-38).

Luke also records.

Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness? (Acts 21:38).

Jesus' Kingdom Is Not Of This World System

Jesus kingdom was not of this world system. Jesus told Pontius Pilate

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, my kingdom is not of this realm." Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice" (John 18:36,37).

Summary

Although Jesus was the promised Messiah, the one who could rightfully rule over Israel, He refused to become involved in any political issue of his day. We see this in a number of ways. Jesus refused to be made king; He told His disciples not to tell others that He was the Messiah and He also withdrew from confrontation with the religious rulers. In addition, He never incited the people against Rome. All of this was in contrast to false Messiahs. The reason He acted this way has to do with the nature of His kingdom - it was not of this world system.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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