Taking Him by Force
John D. Telgren

ďSo Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone (John 6:15).Ē

After feeding an ďarmyĒ of people, they saw that Jesus surely must be this prophet like Moses. They understandably get excited. After all, Moses led Godís people out of bondage. They were awaiting another prophet to do it again, and here he was. They wanted to force him to be their leader and their king. If anyone could engineer a successful revolt, surely it was this man. They wanted a political ruler to bring political independence for them and restore a sense of pride and dignity for their nation.

So Jesus snuck away from there. The people went searching and found him. Jesus began to tell them to look deeper into the feeding miracle. Jesus offered life, but not the type of life they were seeking. The disappointed crowd stopped following Jesus because he was not the kind of king they were looking for.

On another occasion they tried to take Jesus by force.

ďSo they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come (John 7:30).Ē

This time they tried to seize him to stop him because Jesus didnít meet their expectations. Some wanted him to just be a Rabbi and not make those claims about being equal with God. Others wanted him to be an anointed leader to lead the nation back to glory. Jesus was not going to do either of these things, so once again they wanted to seize him.

Jesus was not going to be seized until he was ready to be seized. His hour had not yet come, so they didnít take him. They couldnít take him. Jesus was in control the entire time.

People still try to ďtake Jesus by forceĒ today. There are those who try to make him into their own image to serve their agenda. Some try to use Jesus to support capitalism, socialism, democracy, or some other political agenda. Others try to make Jesus into nothing more than a philosopher who only gives wise advice. They want him to be a good teacher and nothing more.

Jesus stands above political and social issues. There is a larger picture. Jesus didnít come merely to settle political or social issues. He was not a revolutionary as some modern scholars try to make him out to be. He is the Son of God. His agenda was to save those who would believe in him. Once we lose sight of that, no matter how much we say politically or socially, we have lost our way.

As we face things such as elections, letís remember to exercise our vote to the glory of God. Letís be aware of the issues. At the same time, letís remember that being salt and light in the world is not about winning a political or social issue, but about bringing the lost to a saving relationship with our Lord.