I can’t decide if I’m glad or sad that 2015 is not an election year. There is a tinge of sadness because I like the drama of politics, and I enjoy watching the polls and the races. It’s a bit like a sports event to me, except certainly more monumental and important.
But I’m glad because all of our focus on the supposed solution of politics is really a chimera, that is, a mirage, a dream that will never come to pass. Now, mind you, politicians matter, but we think they matter more than they actually do. Christians fall into this thinking all the time. I have a pastor friend who absolutely hates election time, because he knows that he will be getting pressure to go public in support of a particular candidate or issue, and if he doesn’t, some will skewer him as not caring about what really matters. Personally, I’ve not really seen much of this, though there have been moments.
I think we get this longing for good leaders naturally. We were created to be led, and in our hearts, we long to be led well. But in the end, politicians of all stripes are just men and women whom Scripture warns us not to put our trust in. (Psalm 146:3, 4)
But of course, not all “rulers” are created equal. Today’s passage celebrates a leader, a ruler, who will also be a shepherd.
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
– Matthew 2:6 (ESV)
So Jesus rules us in might and power. He is our Lord and God. More crassly, He is the Boss; He tells us what to do. But more than that, we learn that He is also our Shepherd. He takes care to see that we are fed…and protected…and loved. He is the perfectly benevolent ruler, the consummate “good” King.
He is the One our hearts will really be longing for when elections come around again next year, and we will never be ultimately satisfied with any leader other than Him.
On Monday, January 5: Matthew 3