Jesus Wasn’t the Rebel You Think He Was

Where Have All the Rebels Gone?

Every once in a while, I hear the claim made that Jesus was a rebel. And every time I hear it, it makes me cringe. I’ve read the Bible several times, and I have never walked away thinking, Jesus was a rebel. I’ve taken classes, and again, never walked away thinking, Jesus was a rebel. And after looking into it a little deeper, I’ve walked away convinced, Jesus was not a rebel.

While I’ve heard the claim from conservative and liberal thinkers alike, I’m making the assumption that the idea rose with liberal and/or progressive thinkers. Thinkers who tend to twist definitions, ideas, and ideologies to fit their own purposes without regard for truth and reality.

So, let’s start here. What is a rebel? According to the Oxford Dictionary a rebel is:

A person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or leader

Now we all can agree that Jesus did not lead an armed resistance against anyone, so the focus of this article will be on the idea that he rose in opposition, but to whom?

House Rules

It should be quite clear, from the start, that Jesus was not rebelling against God’s Old Testament Law. If God and Jesus are part of the the same Triune God, then rebelling against God’s Law, would essentially put Him at odds with himself. Simply put, this makes no sense.

The Bible also tells us that Jesus was sinless. He followed the Law to the letter, and told others to follow the Law. He told us that the Law would be fulfilled, but it would not go away, until God’s purpose was accomplished.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18 ESV)

In dramatic difference to what we see today, Jesus was obedient to His Father, even when He knew that it was going to get Him killed.

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:41-42 ESV)

Jesus did not rise against His family, or His family’s Law.

Civil Authorities

The Bible doesn’t record many interactions between Jesus and the Roman government or civil authorities, but we aren’t left clueless either.

The first instance is not direct contact, but rather, is a trap set by the Pharisees who want Jesus to either make himself look bad in front of His own people, or make a statement advocating breaking the law by not paying taxes. Jesus, however, knows their intent and answers brilliantly:

Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21 ESV)

Later, he is sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect in Judaea at the time. After interrogating Jesus, Pilate found him to be innocent, and not worthy of death.

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. (John 18:38 ESV)

Apparently the government wasn’t impressed with Jesus’ rebellion since they found him innocent. When He finally was sentenced to death, it was because Pilate caved due to political pressure, and told the crowd so, “I am innocent of this man’s blood” (Matthew 27:24).

Religious Leaders

The final group, religious leaders, are a little more interesting because I think this is where the confusion comes in. Without going into detail, the religious leaders we’re talking about were made up of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and while Jesus and they were in conflict, I don’t think it was Jesus who was rebelling against them, but they who were rebelling against Him.

The Jews had been anticipating a Messiah for thousands of years. When that Messiah showed up, in the form of Jesus, He wasn’t what they were expecting. Some accepted this and followed Him anyway, while others, particularly the religious leaders did not. They rejected Him, and yes, rebelled against His teaching.

Throughout the Gospels there are examples of the religious leaders antagonizing Him and looking for ways to discredit Him: He healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath; His disciples ate with impure hands; and His disciples plucked wheat on the Sabbath when they were hungry. Despite the fact that He healed multitudes, exorcised demons, and fed thousands, they still kept looking for signs, accused Him of being a drunkard, and accused Him of healing through the power of Beelzebul, instead of God. They failed at every endeavor.

When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, they came after him with swords–remember our definition of rebel?–but he went willingly and cooperated. His apostles put up a brief resistance but Jesus told them to stop, and even healed the ear of one of the assailants whom Peter had cut the ear of.

He was taken to the Temple and put on trial complete with false charges. Why false charges? Because they had nothing on Him. If he were truly a rebel, they would have been able to provide real charges. After the kangaroo court, He was handed over to Roman authorities, where He met with Pilate, which I already discussed.

Jesus wasn’t rebelling against the religious authorities of the time. Sure, He pointed out their flaws, and their hypocrisy, but that was usually in response to their attacking Him first! That’s not very rebellious. I would say it’s more of defensive in nature, and much more effective, since His responses generally dealt with the specific situation at hand.

Conclusion

Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus described as a rebel. He is described as a Savior. Those who were in charge at the time rebelled against Him. He brought Truth, and they didn’t want to hear it.

Jesus was condemned by the liberal elites of the time for not conforming to their politically religiously correct values. He threatened their man-made authority, prestige, and highly educated sensibilities; they knew better than the uneducated. He was condemned by a kangaroo court. The crowd was whipped up by what only could be considered a flash mob.

But, are we really any different? From the time of Adam, man has rebelled against God in one manner or another. There have always been those who follow, and those who rebel. They tried to make Jesus conform to their version of the Law, instead of conforming themselves to God’s version of the Law. To this day, we’re still trying to make Jesus fit our image of Him: teacher, rebel, socialist, someone who loves us and our faults. He’s everything but a Saviour; everything but the Son of God; everything but the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Going back to our definition: A rebel is someone who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler. We can state with confidence, Jesus did not rise in opposition or armed resistance to anyone. The world has rebelled against Him.

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Note: This has been cross-posted from Medium where it was originally published 25 Nov 2018.

Image credit: Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Quick Marks (September 4)

Quick thoughts on some of the past week’s news: Dave Grohl feels like an alien; Those who are supposed to protect us from violence don’t know how to protect us from violence (Antifa); and possibly the highlight, an Australian woman who grew up with two lesbian mothers explains how unhappy she was.

Dave Grohl on how Donald Trump inspired Foo Fighters’ new album – NME

Dave Grohl discusses how Donald Trump & subsequent ‘wave of conservatism’ shaped his lyrics on Foo Fighters’ new album ‘Concrete & Gold’

Grohl also added that being in the US during the “conservative wave” that came with the rise of Trump reminded of the ‘alienation’ he felt as a teenager.

“It’s weird,” said Grohl. “It really sparked a lot of my early, alienated, freakish punk rock feelings from when I was a teenager. I was one of those little freaks in his blue bedroom in the middle of a really conservative part Virginia feeling like I was just an alien. I started feeling that way again.”

I have news for you Dave. Everyone feels like an alien at times in their life. How do you think conservatives felt for eight years under Obama’s administration?

Come to think of it, as a Christian, we’re supposed to feel a little alien. Like we don’t belong.

Source: Dave Grohl on how Donald Trump inspired Foo Fighters’ new album – NME

FBI, Homeland Security warn of more ‘antifa’ attacks

Confidential documents call the anarchists that seek to counter white supremacists “domestic terrorists.”

“Everybody is wondering, ‘What are we gonna do? How are we gonna deal with this?’” said the senior state law enforcement official.

If your senior state law enforcement official is asking, how are we gonna deal with this, I think it’s time to get a new senior state law enforcement official.

It’s not that hard to figure out. Bring in more police. If the police can’t handle it, call in the National Guard. Oh, they did? Maybe they should be allowed to do their jobs.

I think the bigger problem is that Democrat politicians and the Main Stream Media are contributing to the problem by blaming the victims of the violence. But that’s what they do best: blame the victims. It doesn’t matter that the victims are hate groups. A lot of Christian groups are wrongly considered hate groups, so how long before Antifa starts showing up at Christian gatherings with their violence?

Violence is never acceptable.

Source: FBI, Homeland Security warn of more ‘antifa’ attacks

Australian Woman Who Grew Up With Two Lesbian Mothers Explains How Unhappy She Was

A woman from Australia who grew up with two lesbian mothers and no father figure has spoken about her experience and why same sex marriage isn’t good for children.

This is a pretty interesting read, but make sure you watch the video.

She also has a YouTube channel: Millie Fontana. Unfortunately, there’s only a couple uploads.

You can find out more about putting children’s rights before adult desires at Them Before Us.

Source: Australian Woman Who Grew Up With Two Lesbian Mothers Explains How Unhappy She Was

Quick Marks (August 24)

Quick thoughts on some of today’s news: Southern Poverty Law Center gets hit with a lawsuit, A curvy blogger creates a #BeInYourSkin body positive calendar, the mathematical secrets of ancient tablet have been unlocked after almost a century, and a woman has been sentenced to 10 years for making false rape claims.

Southern Poverty Law Center Hit With Lawsuit

This is not new. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been labeling Christian groups hate groups for some time now, and I’ve always felt that it’s a defamation of character. It’s a false accusation, and I’m happy that someone is finally standing up to them.

An evangelical ministry has filed a federal lawsuit against the influential Southern Poverty Law Center, saying that the group sought to defame it when it designated the religious institution as an “active hate group” because of its stance against homosexuality.

Source: Southern Poverty Law Center ‘hate group’ label hit in evangelicals’ lawsuit

Curvy Blogger Creates Body Positive Calendar

I’m not saying that being overweight is healthy, or quite frankly, attractive, but some people do. And that’s okay, because that means there’s someone for everyone.

What I hate, though, is fat shaming. If someone’s happy, and comfortable,
in their skin, no matter the size, it’s their business. I’ve read some of the hurtful comments that people make towards people who are over-weight, and I think the case can be made, that the people making the comments are no better than a someone hurling racist, or sexist, insult.

Brianna McDonnell, a body-positive fashion blogger at the B Word,  created #BeInYourSkin 2018 editorial calendar that features 25 plus-size bloggers, influencers, and friends as part of a campaign to empower and inspire — an idea which she told Mic came “organically”. “I wanted to create images of plus-size women that were creative, different, sexy, artful, strong, empowering and editorial,” she said. “I wanted to create something for plus-size women, where they could see themselves in the images.

Source: Curvy blogger creates body positive calendar with friends: ‘It is about representation’

Mathematical Secrets of Ancient Tablet Unlocked After Nearly 100 Years

Further proof that our ancestors were not as stupid, or ignorant, as the enlightened among us would think.

Dating from 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s theorem, the Babylonian clay tablet is a trigonometric table more accurate than any today, say researchers

Source: Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study

Woman Jailed For 10 years For Making False Rape Claims

This needs to happen more often. The false accuser should receive the sentence they would have imparted on the innocent victim.

Jemma Beale, 25, from west London, invented four separate incidents of sexual assault, one of which led to man being wrongly convicted

Source: Woman jailed for 10 years for making series of false rape claims

Stop Using the Word Homophobe

Yes! Calling someone a HOMOPHOBE is OFFENSIVE!
Yes! Calling someone a HOMOPHOBE is OFFENSIVE!

Stop using the word homophobia. It’s offensive. It implies an irrational fear, which very few people have. Most people who oppose homosexuality have good reasons for doing so; there’s nothing irrational about it. Calling someone a homophobe in response to someone’s argument is like responding by calling them ass hole. That’s not a counter-argument; it’s name-calling. And did I mention offensive?

Yeah, I know there are a few people that are actually homophobic, but they’re few and far between, and to use it for every person that is anti-gay is foolish and inaccurate. Did I mention offensive?

When one person calls another person a homophobe, I feel like the targeted person would be correct to respond with dumb ass.

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The Marriage Equality Myth

Gay Pride God

Always the marriage equality argument. This is, of course, a big fat lie.

Marriage equality has always existed. The law never said gay people can’t get married. It said men had to marry women, and it applied equally to ALL men regardless of sexual orientation. That’s equality.

But, but, gay men couldn’t marry whoever they wanted!

Neither could straight men! Straight men couldn’t marry their mother, sister, brother, male neighbor, dog… whatever. The same restrictions that applied to gay men, applied to straight men. That’s equality.

The laws said a man has to marry a woman. Is a gay man a man? Is he different from a straight man? I imagine most gay men consider themselves to be men. And if a gay man is a man, like any other man, the laws will apply equally to him. That’s equality.

Changing the law to allow men to marry men, does not change the equality aspect unless the law is rewritten to say: gay men can only marry gay men, and straight men can only marry straight women. Obviously, it will/does not. So, new laws, or allowances, or rights, under the law will remain equal. If men are allowed to marry men, it will apply equally to straight men. Because that’s equality.

Why would a straight man want to marry another man? The only reason I can think of are economics, but the point is, they would be legally, and equally, be able to do so.

The equality issue is a false argument. It’s a myth. It’s a distraction from the real issue, and the real issue is that they want to redefine marriage.

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