Jesus knows how you feel Tony
And he sure does. He too, one night, had to face a brewing opposition. And he too, found himself on the end of a public opinion poll not in his favour.
Wow, five prime-ministerships in five years. Yes, between 2010 and 2015, we have had: Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and now Malcolm Turnbull. I was reading a news article on the worldwide web last week that listed each leaders’ successes and failings. And the one common failing was this: poor performance in the polls. We might blame the politicians for this ridiculous revolving door they’ve created for PM’s—and say things like: “They’re all hopeless. I’m not going to vote for anyone next time”. But we are the ones who are polled and poor polls will eventually kick-start the revolving PM door once again. And so it is a whole culture we have created (including being able to freely comment to the world on social media). And in the end, people tend to give in to public opinion, or perceived public opinion.
The problem with giving in to public opinion is this: the public aren’t always right (and sometimes public opinion is also easily swayed by a very vocal, well spoken, powerful minority). Yes, the public, and that includes you and me, are easily swayed; we can also be very selfish and very sinful.
Yes, Jesus does actually know how Tony feels. He might not have had Newspolls conducted every week on him or twitter comments degrading him, but he did have a growing number of people dissatisfied with his message. And so things were brewing in the scenes behind him, and then out of the blue (well, not for Jesus), he faced one final vote, and public opinion said: get rid of him (crucify him!).
As Christians, we know, as Patrick reminded us last Sunday, that Scripture is our guide, and not public opinion or plebiscites or referendums. And so, it should sadden us when we see this country of ours slowly removing God’s opinion from any discussion, and instead, replacing it with what we think is right: humanism is the word: the belief that humans know what is best. And we can be so fickle and change our minds regularly.
But as Christians, we should also take heart that God is sovereign and his kingdom will prevail, and that he even uses public opinion to achieve his ultimate purposes. He certainly did so with his Son.
He was despised and rejected by people…. we even considered him stricken by God….. But he was pierced for our transgressions…. the punishment that brought us peace was upon him. (Isaiah 5:3-5)
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