And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.Matthew 14:22-23
And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.Mark 6:45-46
Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.John 6:14-15
I have titled my words today “Politics” but really my topic is Jesus was not interested in politics. He wasn’t interested in them 2,000 years ago and I doubt He is too concerned with them now!
Jesus has just performed the miracle of feeding more than 5,000 men not counting women and children. When the multitudes see His abilities, those men realized that Jesus must be the Messiah (prophet that should come). This prompts Jesus to have the disciples leave immediately and He separates Himself from the crowd. John records for us Jesus’ reasoning for doing this. They wanted to forcefully set up Jesus as king of Israel and perform a coup d’etat against Rome. They were looking for a political Messiah that would free them of Roman rule and put the Jews in charge of Judea once again.
Time and again we see Jesus avoiding this kind of attention. Not because He wasn’t the Messiah but because He was not the “Political Messiah” they were looking for. In fact, he tells Pilate plainly that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
Jesus did not concern Himself with overthrowing Rome or the religious grip the scribes and Pharisees had over the people. Jesus ran counter to all the cultural issues of the day but that was not even His focus. His focus was to have compassion for God’s people and to die for their sins. Jesus didn’t care about Roman politics. Jesus didn’t even care about Jewish politics! He taught about a better kingdom that had nothing to do with the politics of men.
The next words I write I know are not going to be very popular with a lot of people. However, I think Christians today have entrenched themselves in politics too deeply and have forgotten that their true citizenship is in heaven.
Now, as long as I am living, I am praying that America remains a free country. Therefore, I vote and speak in such a way as to try to influence the freest course for the future. However, I do not believe it is necessary for America to survive in order for the church to thrive. In fact, I think God’s people on both ends of the political spectrum are losing the true battle. Satan has divided our nation. Even worse, Satan is dividing churches and God’s people.
We should pray for our nation but I think our prayer should be very specific and focused on the blessing of freedom to worship. Consider the words of Apostle Paul:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.1st Timothy 2:1-2