The conventions are now over—Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald J. Trump have accepted their parties’ respective nominations, given speeches accepting those nominations, and now begin the grueling process of crisscrossing the country seeking to persuade the average American that he or she has the better vision for the nation. As I write this, I’m preparing to watch Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. I watched Mr. Trump accept the Republican nomination and make his promises, and I’m now waiting to watch Secretary Clinton make her promises.
That’s what politicians do—they make promises. Sometimes they keep them, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes politicians can’t be blamed for not keeping their promises—Congress disagrees, some crisis takes precedence, or the President learns the world situation wasn’t quite what he (or she) thought when running for the office.
As I’ve listened to Trump and Clinton make their promises, I’ve thought about what it might be like if Jesus were to run for President. What would his convention acceptance speech sound like? What promises would he make? Well, I have some ideas what he might promise:
Open arms for all.
Jesus will turn no one away who comes to him: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
A place in my Father’s house
Jesus has prepared me a home with his Father: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2).
Politicians might promise peace; Jesus can deliver peace: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Politicians want us to know that they feel our pain; Jesus really does: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
Jesus promises to do what we ask in his name: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Of course, the answer to our prayers depends upon the Father’s will, something Jesus’ own prayers in the Garden powerfully demonstrates.
Forgiveness of my sins
Jesus will forgive my every sin: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
Politicians want to make this life better for us; Jesus promises a far better life yet to come: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
Jesus’ promises stand in stark contrast to those of politicians. Politicians words can change depending upon the mood of the electorate; no so Jesus’ words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). Politicians can promise a host of things with their words; Jesus words bring life: “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63).
If Jesus ran for President, would you vote for him? Would you trust the great promises he has made?