When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away to the hills by himself.
Jesus goes across the lake, and he climbs a hill in order to teach His disciples. A crowd starts to gather, and Jesus asks His disciples where they might buy bread to feed them all.
Philip says it would take months of wages to feed them.
Andrew brings a young boy and his lunch. Jesus takes the lunch, gives thanks to God, and then everyone has enough to eat. The leftovers are enough to fill twelve baskets.
The people are amazed and try to force Jesus to be their king. He leaves and goes alone to the hills.
Jesus will not be hijacked for human political programs.
The people wanted to make Him king, but an earthly kingdom is not what He intended; at least, not yet.
“My kingdom is not of this world,” He would later say to Roman governor Pontius Pilate.
The name of Jesus gets dragged into all kinds of causes- some of them good, but others not so good.
Whether it is climate change or refugees, or as a tool in a political campaign, the name of Jesus is often appropriated by activists and politicians.
Jesus will not be co-opted by any human political project. He refuses to be a King in that kind of way.
The kingship of Jesus is the opposite of political power. He seeks to change hearts, one at a time. He looks for people who will surrender everything to Him.
Out of that surrender, some people will be moved to work for political change. It will not be by appealing to Jesus as a political weapon. The weapons of the follower of Jesus are faith, compassion, prayer and persistence.
King Jesus reign in my heart and mind. May my life be transformed by you. Amen.