When President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met at The Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, they could not come to an agreement. Kim would not unilaterally give up his nuclear weapons, and Trump would not unilaterally lift sanctions on North Korea. I could not help but imagine what would happen if Jesus had made himself visible at the moment the talks were breaking down.
Kim Jong Un would have been surprised. He lives in a rarefied atmosphere where his word is law, and no one tells him "no." I can imagine Jesus telling Kim that he isn't God, and he really should stop acting like one. Jesus might even tell Kim that one day he will die, and despite the big propaganda machine of his government, after his death he would have an eternal destiny controlled by God, not by himself. He will be held accountable for his actions; as a leader, his accountability will be higher.
Probably Jesus would also tell Kim that his nuclear weapons were no match for the power of God. Would Jesus quote the Old Testament to Kim? "Some trust in chariots and others in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." Maybe.
I am sure of this: Jesus would tell Kim that He loved him. He would tell Kim, "You have manipulated people into declaring love for you, but their words are driven by fear. You have never known a love like mine, a love given not based on your commands, but based on my heart for you. I can and will forgive everything you have done. Follow me."
What would Trump's reaction be? I can imagine Trump knowing immediately who Jesus is, and perhaps being glad that Jesus is there. He might even hope Jesus will show Kim Jong Un a thing or two.
But I can also imagine Trump being surprised when Jesus turns to him and reminds him of a story from the book of Joshua, when Joshua sees a man standing with a sword in his hands right before the battle of Jericho. Joshua asked him whose side he is on. The man answers, "I'm not on either side. I am the commander of the Army of Lord, and I am on the scene." God follows his own plan, not ours.
Jesus might also go on and say to President Trump, "Don't overestimate the art of making a deal. Make sure you are asking where I am at work, and join me there. Donald, try a little humility. Remember I am not on your side or Kim's side. I am on my side, and your job is to be with me."
Jesus probably would say to President Trump, "Look Donald, while I've got your attention, it's time for you to repent of some sins. You've tried to hide them, and that's not working very well. You can't hide any sin from me. You say you believe in me. Show the world your faith, and confess your sins. Ask for forgiveness. Make amends to those who have been hurt."
The truth is, I think Jesus was at that summit. God is interested in things like nuclear war, peace and His creation. I'll bet through the Holy Spirit, God was speaking to Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. The real question is: Were they listening? Only God knows.
Unlike Kim Jong Un, who will force people to listen and declare their love, God allows people the weighty responsibility of choice. God allows people to choose to obey, choose to love and choose to follow. God will not even make world leaders obey (but he will use their disobedience to accomplish His will. Exhibit A: Pharaoh in the book of Exodus). Nothing good pertaining to the long term happens when you do not do God's will.
This is also the truth: Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is with you. If you are a child of God, He wants to guide your decisions and choices. If you are not a follower of Jesus, I believe the Spirit is still at work, trying to help you see that you are not God, you need help in your life, and you need to discover what real love is: the real love of God. God wants to speak to you about your self-centeredness, your sin and your repentance.
Like President Trump and Kim Jong Un, the real question is: Are you listening?
Clay Smith is the lead pastor of Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter.
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