Portrait of a Pair of Politicians

August 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Wisdom | Leave a comment

The 15th chapter of Mark presents a picture of two political leaders whose responses to the tense situation demonstrate two totally different approaches to politics.  I find it interesting that these two approaches are still around today and are still typical of those with political authority.  The first picture is of Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea.  The Jewish Council decided they wanted Jesus dead, but they didn’t have authority to carry out their plan; they needed approval from the Governor to do it.  Though Pilate could find nothing wrong with Jesus, and openly confessed that he’d done nothing to deserve death, he still handed him over to be crucified.  Mark tells us his motive; he wished “to satisfy the crowd.” (Mark 15:15)  So many political leaders want only to satisfy the crowd, to keep themselves popular, to assure their reelection or reappointment.  They will say or do anything to make that happen.  It often appears this is the majority of people in office today.

On the other hand, there was a respected member of the Council who was a disciple of Jesus (according to Matthew) and who had not consented to their decision (according to Luke).  He “took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” (Mark 15:43)  He took courage and did what was right.  In politics, it takes courage to do what is right, especially if it is unpopular.  He didn’t care what embarrassment it might cause; he didn’t care if it meant the end of his days on the Council; he didn’t care if it satisfied the crowds; Joseph of Arimathea courageously did what was right.  O for more Joseph-type politicians today!

The 2012 election is already in the news.  When you view the candidates and when you go to the polls look for politicians who have a track record of courageously doing what is right rather a record of satisfying the crowd.  Look for men and women who stand for a biblical model of morality and principle no matter how unpopular that is rather than those whose record represents rhetoric and popularity.

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