In Mark chapter 12, Jesus argues with the Sadducees who wouldn’t believe in the resurrection, and with the Pharisees about which commandment was the most important. These two groups were a bit like the left-wing liberals and right-wing conservatives of today; the former emphasizing individual rights and free thinking, the latter focused on the strict following of laws.

Jesus’ arguing with them demonstrated that His teaching – the Christian Gospel – refuses to fit into any political position; it is above and greater than them all. While there may be points where Jesus’ teaching looks similar to one political view or another, at other points it will pass sharp judgement upon them – e.g., Jesus certainly esteems individuals as created and redeemed in the image of God, but rejects that they have a right to be free from God or His truth; and while He always upholds God’s law, Jesus rejects the idea that life is determined only by success or failure to keep it.

What is it about Jesus’ teaching that makes it different from every political view?…. Grace!

For example, because life is given and redeemed entirely by the grace of God, therefore we owe Him all things – i.e., our love, thanksgiving, obedience and joy, and so we can’t just go our own way in life. And because God has graciously given forgiveness and salvation for all who will receive it in faith and repentance, we must likewise be gracious and forgiving to all.

Grace upon grace, Jonathan