Voting for A King
Soon the election for president of the United States will be over. The people will have voted for their king. Many, in the urgency of the hour will say later as they did the last time, “I wish I had voted the other way.” The other way will be history and history cannot be changed. What we have before us is the repetition of history. Indeed, it is a mirror reflecting the future. If we forget it, we are doomed to repeat it!
This scenario presented itself in the life of Christ. There were the choices of candidates to be chosen for leadership. There was Barabbas, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Caesar. Barrabas was an insurrectionist and a murderer. The Pharisees were the party of liberality and the Sadducees were the conservatives. Caesar was the incumbent king over the vast Roman Empire. Which one was the lesser evil? And there was Jesus, the Friend of sinners, who never competed or contended for any of the former positions. He knew who He was and while they were all politicking for their various positions, He went about building His kingdom one person and one day at a time.
This is what is going on today. While the world is busy in its round of daily activities, the kingdom of God is slowly but surely being built. There is no politicking for office in God’s kingdom. Entrance into it is available to all. But, because of all the noise and hype in the earthly kingdom, it seems as if God’s kingdom does not exist.
There are those today who believe that Jesus’ kingdom was political. In this they err. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.” John 18:36. He also said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” Luke 17:20. We say honesty is the best policy. “Honesty will not tarry where policy is harbored. They will never agree; one is of Baal, the other of God. Vol. 4 Testimonies p. 607.
The erring do not consider that God’s kingdom is not like man’s kingdom and because they do not understand the nature of God’s kingdom, they think it is like theirs. God’s kingdom “is within you.” Luke 17:21. It is the kingdom of grace. Grace is the ruling factor in the kingdom. Grace is the power of God to do what’s right and honest. No one can serve God acceptably without His grace working within them.
John the Baptist announced that the kingdom of God is at hand. After Jesus’ wilderness temptation He began preaching the same message as that of John the Baptist. When talking to Nicodemas He said “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. This implies that a new birth experience is necessary to see the kingdom of grace.
This blindness is why many are seducing other Christians to cast votes for the blind, the aforementioned candidates. Thus the proverb, “the blind leading the blind.”
If they were not blind, they would see the folly of their choices as the Jews came to realize theirs when they said, “We have no king but Caesar.”
“When left alone, Jesus “went up into a mountain apart to pray.” For hours He continued pleading with God. Not for Himself but for men were those prayers. He prayed for power to reveal to men the divine character of His mission, that Satan might not blind their understanding and pervert their judgment. The Saviour knew that His days of personal ministry on earth were nearly ended, and that few would receive Him as their Redeemer. In travail and conflict of soul He prayed for His disciples. They were to be grievously tried. Their long-cherished hopes, based on a popular delusion, were to be disappointed in a most painful and humiliating manner. In the place of His exaltation to the throne of David they were to witness His crucifixion. This was to be indeed His true coronation. But they did not discern this, and in consequence strong temptations would come to them, which it would be difficult for them to recognize as temptations. Without the Holy Spirit to enlighten the mind and enlarge the comprehension the faith of the disciples would fail. It was painful to Jesus that their conceptions of His kingdom were, to so great a degree, limited to worldly aggrandizement and honor. For them the burden was heavy upon His heart, and He poured out His supplications with bitter agony and tears. Desire of Ages p. 379.