The next time someone running for president asks in a speech "what would Jesus do?" rest assured, it's a trick question.
Politicians don't do what Jesus did. In fact, to run a good campaign, they have to do the opposite. Yes, even the ones who talk the most about Jesus.
Many Christians may not realize that Jesus' Crucifixion is the result of what modern politicians would call some "lapses in judgement," or maybe even "gaffes." In fact, it's quite possible that Jesus' "mistakes" add up to the greatest political blunder in the history of the world.
When Jesus arrived in to Jerusalem for his final days, he was known throughout Israel as a man of miracles: many had seen him heal the sick (even bring people from the dead!), walk on stormy waters, and satisfy thousands with just a few loaves of bread -- just to name a few of his three years worth of mighty feats.
Yes, Jesus was a hero! And he received a fitting hero's welcome.
"And many spread their garments in the way; and others cut down branches off the trees and strawed them in the way. And they that went before and they that followed, cried, saying Hosanna: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mark 11: 8-9)
Given the excitement of his arrival, Jesus was, surely, a shoe-in for whatever political title he may have wanted in Jerusalem, Israel and maybe even all of Rome! What else could be the destiny of a man who came in the name of God himself?
But Jesus quickly proved himself to be a lousy politician.
First, he publicly cursed a fig tree that happened to be unable to produce fruit out of season.
"and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee, hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it." (Mark 11:13-14)
And, if that wasn't strange enough, Jesus then immediately went on a violent rampage through the temple where many had expected him to just quietly teach his ways.
"and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and over threw the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves."
Is that what a politician would do? Not one who wants any votes!
Whatever grand rapport Jesus had with "his people" disappeared within hours, and, even his disciples -- his closest, most ardent, followers -- were shocked to hear Jesus predict they would abandon him too.
"Jesus, said unto Peter, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
"Peter said unto thee, Though I should die with thee yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples." (Matthew 26:34-35)
Nevertheless, of course, even Peter ended up denying his friend as Jesus drug himself to his violent, humiliating death.
"Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew." (Matthew 26:74)
From "hero" to "zero" in a little more than a week. Yes, that's what Jesus did. It is hard to recall a politician who has had such a bad run since.
So, what would Jesus do if he were president?
Well, yes, that's a trick question. It is obvious that Jesus never wanted to be a president, emperor, governor or even judge. He was content to be what God wanted him to be.
And that meant his fate was to die a cruel, lonely death upon the cross, denied and abandoned even by his closest friends -- all so he could save the very ones who tormented Him.
Many find it interesting that Jesus' courageous example remains a formula for failure in just about any political contest.