Jesus was the greatest revolutionary who ever lived; He flipped the status quo as aggressively as He flipped tables of injustice inside the temple (Matt. 21:12-13).
In this Bible passage, Jesus was ANGRY. Scripture tells us as His followers that it is OK and sometimes necessary to be angry if we do not sin in our anger (Eph. 4:26). Jesus was kind and full of endless love and mercy, but He. Did. Not. Play. Games. when it came to injustice, corruption and hypocrisy.
Jesus was not passive or violent.
He was not the Sunday School version of Jesus; nor was He America’s nationalistic Jesus that we are seeing today. Jesus was not a white western dude. Jesus was a brown-skinned-Hebrew. He did not think like a Westerner; so that’s the first thing we have to keep in mind when trying to understand who the real Jesus is, was and will forever be.
Jesus is not a respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11) or nations; this means that Jesus loves all people and nations equally and does not favor one over the other. America is special, but it is not that special. Israel is special, but it is no more special to Jesus than Palestine. I am special to Jesus, but no more special than you are to Him.
Jesus loved the little children.
He gave them space to come to Him when His disciples were pushing them away (which made Jesus mad). He gave them love, dignity and His undivided attention. He warned His followers not to harm these little ones, “for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” (Matt. 18:2-6)
Jesus was inclusive of what Scripture calls “the least of these.” This does not mean that any human being is less than another; it means that some have much less than others and however we treat these folks is exactly how we treat Jesus (Matt. 25:45). Poor people have less possessions than most, for example.
Jesus was not wealthy by any means; in fact, He lived a very simple life and was often financially supported by His wealthier women followers (Luke 8:1-3). This means that Jesus allowed Himself to be financially dependent on women (in an extreme patriarchal culture) without an ounce of insecurity. Jesus was never led by His ego. That is a big difference between all humans and Jesus.
The people were always baffled by Jesus.
He did everything “upside down” and taught with symbolic stories that were often difficult for even His closest followers to comprehend. Though Jesus was mysterious to the crowds, He offered Himself up to anyone to examine Him more closely.
Jesus hung out with prostitutes, drunks and thieves (Mark 2:13-17); and yet, they never pulled Him down spiritually. In fact, He often pulled them up and out of their own pits.
Jesus was a healer and He did not care if He had to break silly religious or national laws to restore a person’s life (Mark 3:1-6).
Jesus was God in the flesh and the greatest prophet who ever lived; He came to bind broken hearts, bring good news to the poor, set women free from patriarchal oppression, be a voice for the voiceless and release the spiritually captive. Jesus is a breaker of chains and He defies manmade rules that are unjust.
Jesus is LOVE and LOVE cannot tolerate injustice.
As followers of the real revolutionary Jesus, will you be like Him and speak out against unjust systems, laws and leaders?
Will you defend women and children like it’s one of your jobs?
Will you serve and give to the “least of these” like it’s your lifeline?
Will you let Jesus free your heart from all hate and fear?
Will you let Him free you from life’s traps?
Will you let Jesus be who He actually is in the four Gospels?
Will you seek Him with all of your heart and mind? If you do, you will find the real Jesus and it will set you apart from the crowd and you will become a target.
Are you willing to stand up for what is truly good in a culture that calls lies “truth” and evil “good?”
Are you willing to be “spit on” and persecuted for your beliefs?
Are you willing to lose your career, and all of the things and people that are most precious to you?
Are you willing to lose your whole belief system and life for the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ?
If so, you are ready to join Jesus’ revolution.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
(Luke 4: 18-19)