Jesus would vote for my candidate. Jesus would have banned cargo shorts (I haven’t heard this one yet, but I’m sure it’s coming given the war that is being waged against these shorts lately). Jesus would do this. Jesus would do that. All because we want to use Jesus to support our belief and way of living and thinking.
Except for the fact that this is a bunch of BS, I get it. This has been going on for a long time too – ever since Jesus walked the earth. The Jews in Jerusalem wanted to make Jesus an earthly king who would set them politically free from Rome. That was just the start. Ever since then, I would venture to guess that every generation has tried to make Jesus into something he wasn’t. What could be a better support for yourself than being able to claim that Jesus would be on your side or for your beliefs or way of life or whatever. It’s divine affiliation.
I’ve been holding onto a an article for some months now. It’s an article that claims that Jesus was a protester. There are even scripture references to back up the claim.
The problem with this is the idea that we can define Jesus by our modern day terminology. We think we can make Jesus into some kind American partisan political person. He wasn’t.
I have several problems with the idea that Jesus was a protester. Protesters gather together, identify what they feel is an injustice, sign petitions, make signs, shout slogans, maybe even do a march. Some protesters think they are really making a different by getting arrested. For them, it sends a statement.
But Jesus wasn’t a protester.
In every single example given in the article, Jesus didn’t sit by passively waiting for someone else to make a change – he went and did it. Protesters get upset at what is happening. Transformative figures go and change things. Jesus was a transformative figure. You wouldn’t find Jesus out protesting or marching or anything like that. You did find him actually making change happen.
Jesus didn’t make this change by petitioning government and government officials. He didn’t go and lobby the Roman Senate and emperor to change this law or that law. He didn’t protest at all.
No, instead, he went where the problem was and did something about it. When the five thousand came to hear him, they were hungry. He fed them. When the wine ran out at the wedding in Cana, he made more. When he was sleeping on the boat and the disciples feared the storm, he calmed it. When the disciples were out in the boat all night and caught nothing, he told them to change what they were doing and they caught a boat load. He impacted lives directly because Jesus message and his entire being was and is life changing.
That’s not to say that protesting isn’t important. It can rally people. MLK used protests very effectively, but I’m willing to bet that it was just one piece in his overall strategy, not the whole thing.
Of course, maybe the point of the article is to redefine what it means to be a protester. In which case, let’s be clear about what a protester is.
Here’s a definition of protester that I found when I googled the word – a person who publicly demonstrates strong objection to something; a demonstrator.
According to that definition, Jesus was not a protester. He was so much more.
Which brings us to the bigger point. Can we please stop making Jesus into something that he never was? Please. I’m sorry to burst your bubble here. Jesus was not a Democrat or a Republican. Jesus was not an American. Jesus was not someone who lived in the 21st century. Stop trying to make him into any of these things.