November 10, 2022 | By Jay Ashbaucher
At regularly scheduled times in our American freedom-to vote society, election time comes around. At those times, we choose government officials to run our country, hopefully electing the right persons who we, the people, believe will achieve the greatest good for everyone. Unfortunately, as many people have observed, our elections have stopped being all about informed choices concerning the policies candidates are presenting. Instead, elections have turned into mud-slinging where candidates resort to name-calling, slandering, even twisting the truth in order to belittle the opposing candidates so people will not vote for them. Personally, I would love for politicians to simply present what they stand for and let us vote on the issues, rather can cutting down opponents to make themselves look good, or guarantee a win. That is not to say that a person’s character and integrity have nothing to do with a person’s qualifications to rule. Good character and integrity certainly enter into a person’s trustworthiness to lead others.
If we can compare Jesus to a politician, one who is vying for the acceptance of his policies, one who promises to bring about the greatest good for everyone, then it would do us well to be informed of the things he offers. Of course, there will be people on the opposing side who disagree and who want people to follow them instead. Jesus knows what it is like to be under the scrutiny and mud-slinging of others who oppose him. The world has not changed. People were just as ugly back then as they are today.
Let’s take a quick look at what Jesus had to endure as a politician who spoke up about the issues of his day, and who offered people a solution for their problems. Like today, Jesus endured much mud-slinging and verbal abuse. They said he hung around with the wrong people. He was criticized for being a friend of sinners, hanging out with prostitutes, thieves, and other outcasts of society. Jesus was called a blasphemer for making himself out to be God. It is very offensive to people and to God for any human to make such a claim. Some, even in his own family, thought on occasion that he was insane; that he lost his senses. He was also portrayed as a hypocrite, who, as a godly man, was supposed to keep the Sabbath laws, but instead, he was accused of breaking them. He was accused of being possessed by the devil and it was said that his miraculous powers came from the devil. Critics kept testing him with questions, hoping to catch him saying something wrong so they could discredit him to the crowds. He was not to be believed. He was an evil person. He was accused by his opponents of being a troublemaker and a traitor because he stirred up the crowds to riot, creating rebellion against the Roman government.
In all the above ways, and more, he was marginalized as a public nuisance. He was rejected by the religious establishment, and many in the community questioned his character and leadership because of what was being said about him. They didn’t know what to believe. One time, they kicked him out of one of their religious meetings for saying something offensive, being so angry they tried to push him over a cliff, but he escaped. Eventually, his opponents were successful in getting him arrested and tried by the Roman governor. During that time, his friends, who promised they would even die with him if need be, abandoned him and left him alone. He was betrayed by one of his disciples and under arrest was beaten with a whip, struck in the head with slaps, and spit upon. He was mocked, made fun of and laughed at. He was just a big joke. The Roman governor questioned him and told the people that he could find no fault with him. But his enemies pushed for death by crucifixion, convincing the governor that he was dangerous as a traitor against Rome. They clambered for his death and won their case by loud vocal threats. His life as a politician ended with his execution on a Roman cross. His followers went into hiding for self-protection. Certainly they felt dejected, even wondering how God could let this happen. They thought Jesus would be their hero, saving them and giving them victory over their enemies and creating a better and peaceful and freeing society for everyone. Now their hopes were dashed. Jesus, as a politician, was not elected. He was innocent of everything he was accused of. He went about doing good. He even spoke words of forgiveness toward his enemies before he died. His political opponents won, and they were relieved to be able to remain in power.
So, is it over? Jesus’ disciples thought so. His many followers thought so. His opponents thought so. Turns out, Jesus was not a blasphemer after all. He was God; God the Son. He came back to life. He is still in the running for election. People all over the world have voted for him, and many more will do so. His campaign promises still stand. He’s coming back to earth in human form and he is going to fulfill his promises to his voters by raising them from the dead and by giving them the most rewarding and love-filled life possible, a life beyond their greatest imagination. Those who have not voted for him will no longer be in power. You want to change your vote? It’s not too late. Like him, you may feel rejected, hurt by others, made fun of, a loser, down and out, wanting to be loved and have a better life. Have hope. He is for you. He will take you as his beloved and restore your life, making it perfect in the end. He is not what people said he was. You can trust him.