The has been much talk in social media about our president Mr Zuma, and the Nkandla report. The country has been going in flames with #bringbackthemoney, which got us thinking what would Jesus say to us Christians about this situation?
We would like to mention we do not support any party, do not follow any political structure. We wright this article sorely based on the word of God and in no way are we supporting anyone’s else point of view. If Jesus Christ was walking the streets of South Africa, and we as his followers go to him and ask:
Teacher, our government is failing us, they are upgrading their houses using people tax money. The nation is hungry and millions of rands are used on Nkandla. What should we do?
We think Jesus would answer us with what we find here In Matthew 22:21 and Romans 13:1-6
Matthew 22:21 “they said, Caesar's. Then He said to them, pay therefore to Caesar the things that are due to Caesar, and pay to God the things that are due to God.”
"LET EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God's appointment. Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them]. For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation.
For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God's wrath and escape punishment, but also as a matter of principle and for the sake of conscience. For this same reason you pay taxes, for [the civil authorities] are official servants under God, devoting themselves to attending to this very service."
The Pharisees who asked this question wished to trap Jesus to say something wrong, so he could be arrested. Even though we come to him today not because we wish to trap him. He still gives us the same answer, let Zuma have his way with that, and let God have his way also with what belongs to him. Furthermore Paul under the power of the Holy Spirit writes to the church in South Africa to submit and respect authority and the government, he tells us that all authority is placed by God and we should respect them and honour them.
We think some of you will be in disagreement with the statement we just made, you think to yourself: the government in that time wasn’t anything like the government of South Africa.
Well you right, but let’s talk about the government in the time of Jesus life and Paul ministry after Jesus ascension. Herod father killed all male children under two years while searching for baby Jesus, and Herod was able to cut the head of John the Baptist just because her daughter asked for it. The people put in charge to collect tax for the government, they could collect as much tax as they wished. They were robbers and no one could do anything besides give them what they wanted. Jesus was killed under this same government, for what fault?
Even after the ascension of Jesus, heavy collection of taxes from the government persisted. In which the taxes were never used for the poor, the poor got fed from the church and sharing of possessions. The church got persecuted under this government, and most of the apostles got killed under it also. Not to mention the was slavery in every place. Yet Jesus and Paul messages are not about social revolution at all, they both seek to change the heart of man.
We would be foolish to think God didn’t notice all this things when He told the church then to respect and honour and pay taxes to the government. God is an all knowing God, he sees all and understands all. We would be more foolish to think God doesn’t see the corruption in South African, yet we given the task of respecting the government and honouring Zuma and paying our taxes and e-tolls regardless. Ours In this world is not to suffer for anything besides for Christ name, we not here to start revolutionary protest against Zuma or the ANC, we are here for a short while and we should use our time here to bring people to God.
Let us not get pulled into lesser fights about political struggles while people keep on dying without knowing Jesus. Whether Zuma pays back that money or not, well that’s his business which he has to answer to at the judgement seat of Christ. Paul writes to timothy in first timothy 2:1 and says to him: pray for those in authority and give thanks for them.
Give thanks to people who are busy killing us? Yes and pray for them also. And we believe this is what God is calling the South African church too at the moment. Praying for our president and giving Thanks for him.