“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” -Matthew 2:1-3 (ESV)
The wise men must have been surprised that everyone was troubled, which is to say perplexed, by their expectation that the Messiah has been born. Was it not odd to them that the Messiah’s own were ignorant of the prophecies from their own holy book?
The people of God had missed their coming Messiah because they were obsessed with their political plight and lost hope beyond that. They lost their focus on God’s prophetic plan for earth’s redemption and exchanged their hope of eternity for a temporal pursuit. Things aren’t much different in today’s political climate.
An obsession in favor or against either party can’t be good for one’s soul. In my sphere of friends, real life and social media, the obsessions seems greater among the politically liberal than among the politically conservative, but regardless of party affiliation one can not harbor hate without it destroying character. You can not be mentally consumed over a thing and not expect it to show out in your attitude and actions.
There is a reason that Paul didn’t include political obsession (or any type of obsession for that matter) as part of his list in Philippians 4:8 when he wrote “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Satan has always used politics as a means to cloud sight of the eternal. The want of temporal security, civil safety, and government leaders who uphold Christian liberties is not bad. We ought to strive, support, and vote for these temporal political advancements, but ultimately the winds of politics are uncertain and shifty.
The problem at the time of Jesus’ birth was not that the Jews had political opinions or that they were advocates of political solutions for the betterment of their nation, the problem was that they lost hope beyond that. They lost sight of eternity because they neglected the promises and prophecies of God’s Word.
So as we begin 2019 and whatever dysfunction a new congress will likely impose on us, let’s be reminded that…
• “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 ESV).
• “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7)
• “you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints” (Ephesians 2:19 ESV)
• “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)
• “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:29-30)
• “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
Let’s be reminded that our hope is beyond the temporal. In the words of an old gospel song,
This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.