*By Mary Salamon, Conservative Ladies of Washington Church Liaison
Christmas time is here. As a mother and now a grandmother, I want to celebrate Christmas with family, friends, food, gifts, and singing. I tend to overdo things and get in over my head with elaborate recipes and projects. I love the carols they come to my house and in my car days before Thanksgiving. The most wonderful time of the year is here because we choose this time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Over the years, I have heard so many sermons about Jesus’ humble beginnings. He was born in a manager, raised in a humble home, and took up a humble occupation. We know He suffered the most humiliating death that a human being can endure. Thank you, Lord! We have been taught that to be meek and humble like Jesus is the only true gospel. In many churches, loving and serving people are at the heart of most teachings in the pulpit.
I have been told countless times that Jesus, my God is not and was never political or governmental. He was humble. I’m told that Jesus is not a Democrat or Republican. He’s not a citizen of the United States and he doesn’t want His Church involved in political/governmental activities. In fact, the first title of my book, I pondered the name, “God I know you’re not a Republican, but I pray you’re not a Democrat either.” As a Christian, I know God is not a Republican. He’s not affiliated with any political party. And yet, the question I pose to you this season is, was Jesus political?
From the time of His birth, he was coming to shake government and governmental structures. Matthew 2:1- Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” Jesus is called a king at birth and at birth threatens King Herod and his rule. Kings rule and govern. The scripture doesn’t say let us go worship a priest. It reads let us go worship a king.
When Jesus became a man and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Him, he entered his ministry. He confronted openly the Pharisees and Sadducees for their corruption and greed and especially how they twisted the scriptures, The Pharisees and Sadducees were not just religious leaders. They were also the political leaders of Israel during Jesus’ time. Israel was called Judah at the time; renamed Judea by the Romans. Judea had been conquered by the Romans and was an occupied territory. However, the Romans did not run everything in Judea; not even close. As long as the Jews paid their taxes and didn’t revolt, Rome had little interest in their internal affairs. They had their own police (temple guard) and public jail (Acts 5:18). According to Julian Spriggs, “It was the normal Roman practice to leave most of the running of the government to local leaders. In Judea, this was the Sanhedrin, dominated by the Sadducees, and ruled by the High Priest. In return for their support for the Roman rule, the Sadducees kept their wealth and privileged position secure. The Sanhedrin was the chief legislative, judicial, and religious function. Members of the Sanhedrin were the equivalent of the congress and senators that represent us today.” http://www.gospelpolitics.com/jesus-and-politics.html
If the Sanhedrin was the governing body of the people (legislative, judicial, and religious), we can concur that Jesus was extremely political and confronted the government in His day.
We’ll get deeper into this in part two of this blog.