Was Jesus politically correct? How did the Master address injustice in His generation? What about politics? Was there a DEEP STATE in Jesus’ day, undermining the freedoms and blessings God intended for His people? Did Jesus, in fact, restrain himself from speaking out against injustice and hypocrisy?
Jesus Lived and Ministered in A Deep State Culture
A study of the “400 Silent Years” that transpired in Israel just prior to the arrival of Jesus yields some interesting facts. This is the “inter-testamental period” between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and this first book of the New Testament (Matthew).
By the time of the prophet Malachi, a remnant of the Jews had returned to Israel, then under the rule of the great Medo-Persian empire. Israel had ceased to be an independent nation, and their land was the annexed territory of a succession of larger empires. A puppet state with no king of their own, Israel was allowed to practice their religion. But the Exile had left its mark on the Jews and their religion and they drifted from their roots. Despite repeated warnings from the prophets, they went through a formal pretense of serving God, but inwardly blaspheming his name while living in disobedience.
During this time of captivity and confusion, a whole new religion called Judaism emerged that was more political than spiritual, more corrupt than virtuous, more rooted in the relativism of oral tradition than the firm, proven principles of Old Testament scripture. The Pharisees, for example, accepted the oral law along with the Torah, and it was believed to be equally inspired and authoritative, and all of the explanatory and supplementary material produced by, and contained within were the oral tradition. What was the “oral law”? Religious bureaucracy at work! Regulations added by men that watered down or under-mined the clear teachings of scripture! A religious DEEP STATE. When Jesus arrived on the scene he often found Himself bumping up against these “government regulations” as He conducted His ministry. When that happened He didn’t hold back from speaking out against it. (For example: Mark 3:1-5; Luke 13:10-17; Matt. 12:1-8–there are many more examples not listed here.)
It was, after all, the Sanhedrin who sentenced Jesus–the Son of God, Messiah, Word-Made-Flesh, to death! The Sanhedrin was a committee of Jews with recognized executive, legislative, and judicial power over Jewish faith and lifestyle during the Seleucid Empire (196 – 167BC), the Maccabean revolt (168 – 143BC) and within the limits imposed by Julius Caesar, Herod the Great, and Roman procurators during the Roman Empire (44BC – AD66).[19,20] Subordinate to the Sanhedrin were the religious parties or sects known as the Sadducees, Pharisees, complicit DEEP STATE participants, not at all happy that their stranglehold on authority was being challenged by the Messiah-Prophet Jesus who was connecting with the connecting with their constituency!
The bottom line is that a DEEP STATE had arisen within Israel that was functioning on man-made regulations and customs and traditions not rooted in the written Law of Moses. The result was political and religious corruption.
Jesus Denounces the Deep State
Perhaps the most well known section of scripture that underscore’s Jesus’ distaste for the DEEP STATE is the “7 Woes” listed in Matthew 23. Below I have listed a few of these passages—direct quotes from Jesus in red— followed with running comments:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)
Paraphrase: “DEEP STATE–Elites, Progressives, Globalists! You are designing a ‘utopia’ where you rule and the massive give homage to your centralized control!”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. “ (Matthew 23:15)
Paraphrase: DEEP STATE–Elites, Progressives, Globalists! You will spare no expense to stay in power or advance your propaganda and keep people under your control!”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence…Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 13:25)
Paraphrase: Here Jesus targets DEEP STATE–Elites, Progressives, Globalists! and their ‘political correctness’ for what it is: pure hypocrisy. It is focusing on the style while ignoring the substance. White-washing the surface while advancing corruption in secret. For example: they shout “Black Lives Matter” and ”Don’t separate Children form their Mothers” but protect the “right” of Planned Parenthood to abort babies wholesale.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matthew 13:27-28)
Paraphrase: “I am offended by your political correct posture. Get real and do what is right!”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!” (Matthew 13:29-32)
Present Day Application: Whether it is praising the memory of Reagan and Lincoln or showering syrupy accolades on McCain at his funeral, Progressives & Democrats will stone a conservative while they are alive but praise them when they are dead.
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.” (Matthew 13:33-36)
MEMO to the ‘politically correct’ reader: Prophets were not refined peddlers of soft truth, skilled in the art of tact and discretion! They were to the point and often rough-on-the-edges in the way they spoke out against injustice. This is why they were all stoned!
In Defense of Our Prophet-President
Please don’t use the “he says mean things” argument against president Trump! ‘Righteous’ does not always equate with ‘comfortable.’ Remember that! The job of the prophet is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” (AW Tozer)
“He has past indiscretions” you say? Remember, half the New Testament was written by a man who murdered Christians for sport and the greatest King in Israel was a murderer and adulterer. But in the end, they both carried out God’s heart for their generation when He called them to do it!
About the Author: John is a social entrepreneur who, having served all of his adult life championing young people on three continents, is now speaking out passionately against global human trafficking and in favor of grass roots conservatism. (Copyright 2018– Freedom Forum. All rights reserved.)