Our pastor preached the hardest when election time came around. Though I was only a young man, I knew whose side God was on. In the midst of it all, everyone I knew voted for the candidate the pastor told them to. I was taught that Jesus was intrinsically connected to our political process. We also believed that politicians were the vessels of the will of Jesus. As I grew up, I began to notice how many problematic politicians there were out there. Slowly, I realized what I learned in the church of my youth was total bullshit. I carry all of those memories around with me. So, you can imagine how I felt when I saw this dumbass painting.
When it comes to finding Jesus, Matthew 25 gives us much better directions than that painting. Jesus said, “I will be with the hungry. Jesus said, “I will be with the thirsty.” Jesus said, “I will be with the stranger.” Jesus said, “I will be with the naked.” Jesus said, “I will be with the sick.” Jesus said, “I will be in prison.” The painting doesn’t depict Jesus in any of these places. The painting illustrates something contrary to the message of Jesus. The painting is blasphemous.
When I think about Jesus’ engagement with President Trump, I think about Matthew 19. There was a rich ruler who came to Jesus and wanted what he had. The problem was that he didn’t want it as much as he wanted himself. I often wonder if President Trump is not in the same place?