Let me start this study with a statement that may shock some of you: separation of church and state is a myth. Not only is the idea not found anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but it’s completely contrary to God’s will. In God’s view, there is no distinction between spiritual and secular. And in fact, Deut. 17 demonstrates judge and priest working together. Num. 26+27 clearly show Moses & Eleazar working together; in Num. 27, God commands that Moses’ successor, Joshua is to co-rule with Eleazar AND seek counsel from the priest.
With that in mind, there is a difference between what God intended for human government and what humanity has created for itself. Even in the U.S., where our system is supposed to foster freedom, we are overwhelmed by politics. Separation of church and state is a myth, but separation of church and politics is not. Politics are poison. Whether it’s the home, the church, the gov’t., etc., politics dispenses with right and wrong in favor of what’s most politically expedient.
In today’s text, we will see two men who ultimately decided Jesus’ fate not based on any semblance of right or wrong, but solely on political expedience. If there were ever a reason to not trust government, this is it. Our leaders at every level value expedience over doing what’s right. Things were no different in Jesus’ day. They were not different when Theophilus was reading this letter from Luke.