Is Jesus Republican or a Democrat?
This is an intriguing question. I’ve heard and read statements that He would be one or the other. Some Democrats will state that Jesus has to be a Democrat. All one has to do is look at His concern for the poor and the social outcast of His day. Some Republicans will spout their ethics and concern for the unborn. Surely, Jesus desires people to live morally and He has to be concerned about life; especially the life of the innocent.
So who is right?
Jesus was born into a politically polarizing time. On one hand, there was the Roman Empire. Rome was for the most part oppressive. They were immoral in many ways. There was a plurality of gods in their pantheon. In fact, Caesar was considered as Lord. On the other hand, the Jews had a king named Herod who was not Jewish. He tried to have Jesus killed when Jesus was a child. He wanted no rival to his kingship. In addition, there were the religious rulers (the Sanhedrin) that had turned the Jewish faith into its’ own political party. What a mess!
Jesus clearly had options. He could have aligned with the Romans to move His agenda forward. Can you imagine Jesus meeting with Caesar and telling him all that He could do for Caesar if he would just take it easy on the oppression and help the poor? “Look Caesar, I can provide all the wine you want if you take it easy on the Jews.” What if Jesus aligned with Herod? “Hey Herod, I’ll let you pretend that you are the king as long as we can get a few real Jews in your cabinet. We need some real Jewish representation in key positions.” Think about Jesus and the Sanhedrin. “Hey boys, I know these miracles are really tripping you up. Let me join the religious leaders club and I will stop humiliating you in public.”
The truth is, Jesus didn’t fit into either of these groups (political parties). Nor was He interested in fitting in. Jesus’ response to politics was expressed when He was questioned if a person should pay taxes. Jesus stated, in Matthew 22:19-21,
“Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
From Jesus’ standpoint, the present earthly government was necessary and should be supported. However, God and His things are just as important, if not more. Actually, to say that Jesus was not political, would be incorrect. Jesus was probably the most political person that ever walked the face of the earth.
Jesus made it clear to Pontius Pilate (and to anyone who will listen today), that His kingdom is not Democrat or Republican. Jesus stated in John 18:36-37,
“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.”
Jesus is the Leader of a Kingdom that is not of this world. Christians are part of His kingdom. Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the God of heaven like this, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
We belong to the Kingdom party (not Republican and not Democrat). Our allegiance is to the King of Kings. As a result, we need to vote for Kingdom party values and Kingdom minded people. These individuals might be in either party or an entirely different one. Rather than debating if Jesus is Democrat or Republican, we would do well to ask, “What is our King directing us to do?”