Tuesday, January 04, 2005
BLUE-EYED JESUS (A Perspective On Politics & Christianity)
Blue-Eyed Jesus by Keith Giles
I recently re-watched the ABC Special “Jesus and Paul” hosted by Peter Jennings. One of the more fascinating parts of the show was when they randomly asked people on the street what they thought Jesus must have looked like. Many of the people responded by saying that Jesus had blue eyes, was six feet tall and was a cross between DeNiro and Pacino.
Then the scene switched to find the same question being answered by Biblical Scholars and Middle Eastern Historians. They reported that the average height of a Jewish male during that time period was five feet even. He most certainly had brown eyes, not blue, and he probably looked like any other weather-beaten shepherd off the desert sands; Dirty, sun burnt and quite unremarkable.
This got me thinking. Why is it that we sometimes create mental pictures of Jesus that are so far off the mark? Is it that we really don’t know Him? Is it that we like to project our own likes and dislikes onto Him? Why are we so eager to make Jesus into an acceptable version of the Messiah? Do we also assume that Jesus must have been a good Republican or a Capitalist? Perhaps He was a Democrat or a Socialist?
It’s interesting to me that the scriptures reveal to us a Jesus who was not so preoccupied with Earthly political discussions. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar and unto God what is God’s” was pretty much the only true political statement He ever made, if it can even be called that.
In his time on Earth, Jesus didn’t seem so concerned about the politics of the day. Nor did He talk so much about current events, other than to reference the collapse of a tower in a nearby village where a few people had died.
However, Jesus was interested in a political system called “The Kingdom of God”.
It might shock you to consider that Jesus probably cares less about what Bush and Kerry are saying on their campaign trails than He does about what you and I are doing with our lives.
Many of us, if we’re honest, know way more about the views and values of our particular political party than we do about God’s Kingdom. But, Jesus urged us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all of these other things will be added to you as well.”
It’s not that Jesus wants the Kingdom of God to influence or even to compete with the political systems of our nation, as much as he wants His Kingdom to influence and change us.
Do we share His views of the poor? Are we even aware what His position is on economics, or foreign relations, or peace-making, or consumerism? Are we actively, seriously, continually seeking after the things of The Kingdom of God?
Perhaps we’re more comfortable with a blue-eyed, six foot tall, Republican Jesus who conforms to our political and social ways of living? But, is that really who Jesus is?
Which version of Jesus are you holding on to? Which way of life are you currently pursuing? Is it the life Jesus describes in the sermon on the mount, or is it something pretty close to the life you would have lived had you never heard the Gospel?
The polls are open.