Who would Jesus vote for?

As the General Election draws near, we may be asking ourselves this question.

Of course, Jesus never voted himself! In Biblical times, there were no democratic elections as we have today. It’s also true that Jesus’ teaching of radical love and radical holiness goes far beyond any party manifesto. In that sense, Jesus doesn’t support any political party.

But the Bible does give us some principles that I trust will help us think wisely about politics and about this election on 4th July.

1. Let’s take our vote seriously

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). As Paul goes on to explain, governments are given for our good, so that wrongdoers get punished and there isn’t anarchy on our streets.

In the British political system, the responsibility to choose that government is further delegated to the people. So, while we might despair at stories of corruption and broken promises from politicians, let’s take our God-given responsibility seriously.

2. Let’s be gracious towards politicians

“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17). Peter wrote these words knowing that the Romans had crucified Jesus. But a proper, reverent fear of God meant that Christians should still honour the emperor who God had put in place.

The world around us loves to mock politicians, even despise them. But Christians ought to stand out with a more gracious attitude. Let’s be praying for each of the candidates standing in our constituency, that they will be treated fairly.

3. Let’s not expect politicians to solve everything

The candidates in this election are all weak, fallen human beings with mixed motives. Just like us. We will inevitably be disappointed with the next government, and the one after that.

Let’s not idolize our politicians and put all our hopes in them. Instead, let’s trust God. “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others” (Daniel 2:21). God can use even the most ungodly human rulers to achieve his good purposes, as we see gloriously at the Cross (Acts 2:23). And he’s given all authority to Jesus (Matthew 28:18), who will one day return to restore all things, and reign with perfect justice. This is our certain hope!

4. Let’s remember our mission

As Christians decide how to vote, it’s easy to become fixated on one issue. For some, it’s an ethical issue such as abortion, euthanasia or identity politics. Sadly, none of the mainstream parties take a consistently Biblical view on such matters. For others, it’s issues of poverty and social justice, on which Jesus also taught very clearly.

But let’s not forget the bigger picture. Christians are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). And while we wait, we have been commanded to make disciples of all nations, and to teach obedience to Jesus (Matthew 28:19). The gospel is our priority!

Let’s reflect on which parties might give us the freedom to proclaim the good news of Jesus and to teach God’s word.

5. Let’s pray

When God’s people were exiled in Babylon, he told them: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).

In the New Testament, Paul urges Timothy to pray for kings and those in authority, “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:2).

So let’s pray before we vote! Pray for wisdom in making our decision. Pray for a government that brings peace. Pray that Christians in this country may continue to live godly and holy lives. And pray that Jesus’ kingdom will continue to advance in this land, before he comes again.