1 Kings 2: 13-46. John 3:22-36.
Nothing like an election anticlimax! So much promised, so much promise. Tired of politics?- No you’re not! You only think you are. Whilst you may fatigued or disillusioned or just confused by the Turnbull/ Shorten rhetoric, we will undoubtedly keep interested in Brexit and Boris, Trump and turmoil. Power and politics is in our DNA. We are seeing that Democracy certainly has its challenges – only about half the people are happy! (We should, though, be very thankful our voting is a peaceful and orderly process). Other political systems have their challenges too. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently stated the biggest current threat to the ruling Communist Party was… corruption.
King Solomon in today’s reading exerts his power to establish his kingdom. Swift and brutal, Adonijah, his brother and rival; Joab, David’s sometime disloyal Army commander; and Shimei, supporter of Saul are all executed at his command. The kingdom is firmly established in Solomon’s hands.
In John 3, enthusiastic supporters of the John the Baptist Party are enjoying the political power of people coming constantly (v23) to be baptised. On a wave of popularity and positive opinion polls, John’s disciples are even picking fights, so confident they’ve become (v 25). They are even upset people are going over to Jesus, political rival.
John’s reply is political suicide. “I don’t want the limelight and power. Jesus must become greater and I must become less” (v 30). John then preaches Jesus to his own disciples, clearly stating that Jesus is above all and that Jesus truthfully expresses the words of God. The good news Jesus privately revealed to Nicodemus earlier in the chapter- that God is a loving, saving God and that believing in Jesus brings eternal life, is the same message John now boldly and faithfully declares – completing his task for which baptism was only the preparation.
Yes, Jesus is greater. Greater by far than any political leader. Greater than any powerful king. His power is displayed in redeeming lost souls. And our need isn’t a new political party, but a new heart. Our need isn’t a short term fix or promises easily broken, but the truth of God made known. Our need isn’t someone to aid our political power plays, but a true King to bow down before, to become less – to serve and worship the greater. Our need is an end to the corruption, the sin in each of us, which will always ruin any political system.
Our Mission team in Fiji are today proclaiming this truth of Jesus, much like John the Baptist bravely did. May we be with them in prayer, and asking that Jesus would become even greater in our lives as He becomes greater in lives beginning to know Him.