How Would Jesus’ 12 Disciples Vote?

Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews

Kensington Church, Lead Pastor & Co-founder
If Jesus’ followers were here today in the 2018 midterm elections, who would they mark on the ballot?

Before we answer that question, we first need to understand the identity of these followers. Jesus chose His 12 disciples as foundations of the church to carry on the work He started on earth. He exalted ordinary, common, simple men to be leaders in the movement of Christ. They were his closest followers, chosen witnesses, who experienced a hefty dose of hardship, failings and doubts.

They could hardly have been more different or unlikely.

Peter and Andrew were fishermen. A profession only slightly more honorable than prostitution and tax collecting in Jesus’ day. Hard, hard work, and dangerous.

James and John, known as the Sons of Thunder before their lives were transformed, didn’t get their name by mistake. They were confrontational, argumentative, and often insensitive.

Bartholomew was a rich boy, a privileged land owner.

Then there’s Philip. Inquisitive, inclusive and compassionate.

Nathaniel was a skeptic and a little sarcastic.

Thaddeus was related to Jesus and was an intense and violent Nationalist with the dream of world power and domination.

Matthew was tax collector, and a complete sellout to the Roman occupiers. He was utterly shocked that Jesus would want him or invite him to this task.

Thomas was known as a pessimist and doomsayer. He was a skeptical and unbelieving.

Simon the Zealot was ready to kill any (and maybe every) Roman in order to free his land.

Judas Iscariot was a team treasurer. A skimmer, a schemer. A soul worth 30 pieces of silver.

These are our beloved Apostles. Along with Paul—who was especially selected from a career of destroying followers of Jesus—they are the people who brought Jesus to the world.

They couldn’t have been more different.

It’s funny…people reject Jesus because the church is so broken. But our disciples reveal that it’s always been broken. They were (like us) always forgetting what Jesus had done, putting their hopes in earthly things and earthly solutions. They were completely frustrated by the political situation of their day. And probably mad at Jesus for not having more political answers.

So how would they vote? All over the place. They were so spiritually deep that they had intense arguments about which of them was the greatest. But Jesus still chose them.

What does this have to do with us as modern-day followers?

Thousands of years later, we are just like them. We all have our opinion. We are all working for solutions that are important to our world, and usually, our answers are different from each other.

I love the fact that we are so passionate for the world, for justice, and for reconciliation.

And I love that we make room in our community for people to disagree and still love each other and honor each other. I especially love the way so many of us are trying to create a dialogue that is free from patronizing and demeaning behaviors to those who see things differently than us.

I dream of us as a church to never give up on bringing people of divergent views together in Christ, for us to love and respect each other, to agree and disagree respectfully.

The people closest to me don’t agree with me. But I pray that I will never vilify or condemn them. I will not pick the weakest parts of their argument, or only focus on my best points. I am learning from my own children, my nieces, and nephews who see things differently from me. I chose to listen and consider. I need to personally know immigrants.

I need to know people who have tasted oppression in a way I have never known. I want to spend my years walking with other people like me and not like me, connecting to other people’s hearts and stories. That’s a journey worth my life and yours.

It was a journey the first Apostles took. Despite all their differences, what marked them, in the end, was their love for each other, their willingness to forgive, and their determination to keep following despite their massive personal failures. What marked them was their call to bring Jesus to every living being, and no cost was too great. Even the cost of their dreams and their families and ultimately their lives.

I don’t know how the Apostles would vote, but I bet there would be differences among them. Big differences.

So as we continue in political conversations with people we love, remember the unity we
have in Jesus transcends red, blue or any other color.

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