Was Jesus a Political Leader?

One of the most puzzling questions about Jesus Christ is whether or not he is a political messiah. However, a careful study of his life, teachings and activities makes the answer obvious. Politics seek to influence, control and to win the popular vote. However, the life and teachings of Jesus Christ was a stark opposite of these. He would rather choose not to be noticed than to be crowned a king.

In a popular verse of the Bible when the masses took him to make him a king, he literally walked out through their midst and refused to be made king. He emphasized that his life goal was “to seek and save that which is lost”. It makes sense to say that Jesus was not a political leader. He did not seek to wield influence but influence followed him and he did not seek to control people but people yielded to him on their own accord.

Jesus appeared to have known that he would be crucified. In fact, he was quoted to have predicted his crucifixion several times to his disciples. It seemed that the crucifixion was a part of his life goal. This does not sound like a good political ambition, does it?. A politician would not want to be nailed to a cross when he has attained the apex of his ambitions. However, despite the fact that Jesus seemed to have known that he would be crucified, he wholeheartedly walked into it.

The biblical account that wrote about his crucifixion pointed out that he spent hours in the Garden of Gethsemane praying for the “cup to pass over him”. He could have leveraged on his obvious spiritual authority to prevent the crucifixion or perhaps destroyed his enemies but he did not.

A good example of religious leaders in Jesus’ days is the Pharisees. These men sought to control and influence through the law and people followed them. They lost the crowd when Jesus showed up to the scene. This got them enraged and therefore they plot how to kill him. But Jesus was a different kind of leader; he was never interested in drawing untold number of crowd. As a matter of fact, most of his disciples left him when he gave them a very hard teaching and only the 12 was left. Jesus was quoted to have asked the twelve to make their choice, whether to stay or leave. He seemed to be drawn by an inward drive and not just a mere political ambition.