“There isn’t one political party that gives us the totality of the kingdom of God.”
Jesus used questions to reach people. His invitation extends to everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, and political persuasion. Pastor Tom Hughes challenges us to see beyond other people’s exteriors and honestly engage with them by asking humble questions. We can’t get so caught up in someone else’s ballot that we ignore the larger call to unity.
Tom points to Jesus’ own original disciples as an example. Jesus could have picked anyone to be His followers, yet He hand-picked a tax collector (Matthew) and a zealot (Simon). The tax collectors were in league with the Roman Empire and were frequently corrupt. The zealots, on the other hand, were the terrorists of their day who were bent on destroying Rome.
“Jesus calls them together. Two men whose political views are opposed to each other, and Jesus calls them to serve.”
Why would God do this? Tom says it can be a challenge to do life alongside believers who think differently from you, but it’s a powerful illustration for a watching world. When we choose to love someone who sees politics differently, it demonstrates the power of God.
“Doesn’t it show you the majesty and the beauty of the gospel? Because the gospel came to break down walls. Jesus Christ came to break down the walls. And we see the only reason the two of you are sitting in the same life group is not because you agree politically on everything, but because you’re both trying to hear and understand what is Jesus up to. And you both have something to offer each other.”
Tom loves questions, and he shares one last penetrating question for us.
“Where in my life am I trusting politics more than I’m trusting Christ?”
We see the early church as a force for love, not political reform. If our community will be changed, it will be changed by our love, service, and accessibility. The disciples hoped Jesus would overthrow Rome; instead He died for Rome. We are called to do the same.
“The Roman Empire doesn’t exist anymore. So He did overthrow Rome, but in a completely subversive way… by dying on a cross and loving His enemies, and then allowing that to spread into the hearts of people and change their minds.”
Tom Hughes is the co-lead pastor of Christian Assembly. Tom has launched and led student ministries on the east coast and study with the missional church movement in England.
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:8-10
Featured Songs: Just Be Held by Casting Crowns; Grace Wins by Matthew West; Guilty by NewsboysThe power of a question-led life