Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” John 19:11-12
Relate: There is a meme I have seen floating around facebook and other social media sites. It asks, “If Trump and Hillary are stranded on a desert island, who survives? America. America survives.” I have seen liberals post it. I have seen conservatives post it. The humor in the post transcends the political divide because a very significant percentage of the population do not like either of the candidates. Many are not thinking, “If this one gets in America wins but if that one gets in we lose.” It is more a matter of, “If this one gets in we don’t lose as badly as we would if that one got in.”
For those not living in America, I am quite sure this dynamic is not unique to that country. Where I am living in Turkey a big question is if the government represents order or cruel brutal occupation. Those on the other side, PKK and such, are they terrorists or freedom fighters. The answer to both those questions is most definitely yes… and no. There was a major election last summer. When the ruling party didn’t like the outcome they tried again a couple months later. Even if you are one of the ones gullible to believe the outcome that second time, well more than half the population did not vote for the winning party. Such a tangled web politics weaves the whole world over.
React: One thing that is beyond debate, whoever is in power in America or Turkey or anywhere else in the world is only there because God allows it. This does not necessarily mean He wills it but rather He is allowing us to do evil and then still weaving from it good ends. Some leaders are those who He has allowed into power for this place and at this time. Whether Trump or Hillary or Sanders takes office in the US, the church has a responsibility to pray for them and to obey those laws that are not sin. Sometimes, especially when I see bombed out cities like Cizre or Diyarbakir or hear of what is happening in Homs or Kobani or Mosul it might seem like the powers of this world are awfully powerful. Let us not forget that Pilate himself was not the best of men. The locals hated them and the feeling was mutual. He has already been warned more than once from his bosses in Rome to “play nice”. You’ve got to be really awful when Rome itself is telling you that you are being too brutal. Just a couple years after Jesus is crucified he will be kicked out of Palestine for his handling of a Samaritan uprising that would have given Amnesty International conniptions. While he was no Caligula, Hitler, or Pol Pot, I think it is safe to say that Pilate was far worse than any candidate being offered up this November.
While we have the responsibility to vote wisely and pray fervently for the raising up of leaders in our nation, be it home or adopted, let us never forget that ultimately You are the King. My hope is not found in a political party. Our hope is not found in a potential candidate. Our hope is in You. No matter what the ballots say, You are still in control. Be the leader bad or worse, they are still the one You have for this place and for this hour. Help us to pray for their blessing, their wise leadership, and ultimately that they would genuinely and humbly come to know You.