April 16 – Church and State – Jesus as Leader

Read Psalm 146:1-10

For those who know me, you know that I love politics. Since the second grade, I have always been infatuated with politics, government, and leadership. I went on to study political science as an undergraduate and intend to use my law degree to enter the political space sometime after I graduate. With that said, governance has always interested me because of the ability exceptional leaders have to make great changes and influence the lives of others. However, the contrary can also be true: leaders with the wrong intentions and a bad heart can certainly do horrible things. This is why our elections and government matter.

When I was younger, I used to think people of only one party fit the latter description. I vilified folks who identified themselves with one letter next to their name on the ballot rather than the other which I preferred. When I became a believer, in some ways, this became even truer. In many ways, I completely denounced the party I disagreed with and even ruined some friendships along the way, thinking that I was a martyr for the faith by taking a strong stance for the candidates that I perceived as having the agenda of Jesus.

Sounds real Christ-like, right?

The passage we read today reminds me of the hard lesson I had to learn a few years ago: Jesus is not a politician. Jesus is not a Republican. Jesus is not a Democrat. Jesus is the Lord and Savior of the world and the greatest leader that ever stepped foot on this earth.

Too often, there is a tendency to try to make saviors out of our politicians on either side of the aisle. When the fact of the matter is our true Savior is already with us. The Savior that really can make our lives better. The Savior who gives shelter to the foreigner (v.9). The Savior who heals the sick and lets the blind see (v.8). The Savior who can feed the hungry and give comfort to the oppressed (v. 7). This Savior will not be found on the pages of a ballot, but in the depths of your heart, when you have a personal relationship with Him. Remember that Jesus came to earth to upset the politicians and religious leaders, not become one of them.

He can do what no man ever could.

I wonder if you’ll join me today in taking the challenge this text gives us in the first five verses? Would you pray this bold prayer with me this morning?

“Lord, show me what other gods I am putting before You. Jesus, help me see my blind spots where I am putting my trust in other people and leaders over You.”

Taylor Bennington

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