What is a revolutionary? Is it always someone who uses destruction to only make their point? The definition of ‘revolutionary’ according to Dictionary.com is, “a. of, pertaining to, characterized by, or of the nature of a revolution, or a sudden, complete, or marked change: b. radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.” Everything about Jesus was revolutionary – radically new or innovative, outside or beyond established procedure, principles. We are going to look at 8 Ways Jesus Was A Revolutionary.
Believing in Christ and making Him Lord of your life should be a revolutionary experience. While the changes don’t happen all at once, the concept of death and new birth in Christ should surely start a sudden, complete, or marked change in each one of us. For us as individuals, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are definitely revolutionary – they bring something radically new into our lives
8 Ways Jesus Was A Revolutionary
1. Jesus Was A Revolutionary In His Birth
Jesus was born to a human woman who was a virgin. I would say that fits the definition of revolutionary and miraculous. His birth had been foretold and the Jewish nation was eagerly awaiting the revealing of their Savior. But, by the time it happened, the Romans were completely threatened and baffled by the idea of a ‘human’ possibly being the Savior of the people. The Jews thought their Savior would be a warrior who would sweep in and destroy their enemies. The Romans simply didn’t believe in any of that.
Herod, the Emperor of Rome at that time Jesus was born, viewed this baby as a threat to the Roman Empire and their authority. They saw Him as nothing but trouble. All of Jerusalem was troubled by the reports of the birth of a Savior according to Matthew 1:3 and Herod sent out the Wisemen to determine when and where the child was born so that He could then have Him killed. A terrible slaughter of innocent children ensued but not The Christ-child.
Who would believe that a Jewish girl who was still a virgin would give birth to the Son of God? That’s not only a revolutionary idea, it also sounded like a ridiculous one. However, they soon saw that it was far from ridiculous or impossible. They were forced to see that the prophecies of the Messiah had been fulfilled in a way they never anticipated – completely outside established principles and possibilities.
2. Jesus Was A Revolutionary In What He Was
Jesus didn’t enter this world the way the Jews thought He would. He didn’t enter it the way anyone thought the Savior of a world would because no one ever considered God using a teenage girl to change the world!
How often do we find that our lives in Christ are not what we expected? We put God in a box and decide the rules for:
- What He likes
- What He hates
- What He does
- What He doesn’t do
- How He will behave
Then, God blows our box apart! The Jews, after thousands of years of persecution, were awaiting the promised Messiah who would free them from their persecutors and establish the nation of Israel to rule over the world. The Savior was to be a warrior who took revenge on their enemies and put them in their place.
Jesu blew their box apart by coming as a human, as a baby, as a humble servant, and as One who broke their rules. He was not what they expected and wanted Him to be so they rejected Him.
He continues to do that today. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit do not fit in our boxes and I believe we only see a tiny portion of Who and What They truly are.
Our perspective is formed by our world-view, our society, our family, people of influence in our lives, and by our religion. We see God and Jesus through all those lenses. We try to be as objective as we can and we all ask God to reveal Himself to us.
And, He does! But, because you and I are very different, He reveals Himself in ways we can each understand. How you see and experience Him is undoubtedly somewhat different than the way I see and experience Him. The Holy Spirit speaks to each of us in the voice we are able to understand as He helps guide us into all truth.
The Scribes, Pharisees, and Roman rulers could not see what Jesus really was. As some did, they became enemies of the Empire along with Jesus. We need to be willing to see what God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit really are rather than putting our expectations on them. We are the ones who are to change – not them!
3. Jesus Was A Revolutionary in What He Did
In so many ways, He did things that the Jews found despicable and that the Romans feared.
He Hung Out With the Wrong People
- Jesus hung out around sinners, women, Tax Collectors, and sick people.
- He went into their homes, ate with them, and was friends with them.
- He preferred their company to that of the prominent and well-to-do leaders of Rome and the Jewish Synagogues.
- He spent time with lepers.
- He allowed women to sit at His feet and be His followers.
- He chose unsavory people like fishermen and tax collectors to be His Disciples.
- He invited everyone to come and follow Him.
- He proclaimed Himself Savior of the World, not just the Jewish nation.
He Did Things The Wrong Way
These were certainly revolutionary behaviors. He healed someone on the Sabbath and greatly upset the religious leaders of the day who had been watching to see if He would do something wrong – Mark 3:1-6 NIV. He did and then He immediately had the nerve to confront the Pharisees with a question as they watched. He asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save a life or kill?”
Knowing they were exposed, they refused to answer, But, Mark 3:6 says, “Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Even though what He did was miraculous and wonderful, they hated Him and wanted to destroy Him. He did things the wrong way.
In Mark 2, He and His disciples picked some heads of grain and ate when they were supposed to be fasting for the Sabbath, breaking the law – Mark 2:23-27. He openly broke the Jewish law. The Pharisees to know why they do this.
He Failed To Establish A Seat of Power On Earth
Herod’s reasons for hating Jesus had nothing to do with Him being divine. The Jews reasons for hating Him included the fact that He didn’t do what the “Savior” was supposed to do. They believed Savior would only be interested in them but Jesus healed and cared for everyone – Jew or Gentile, man or woman, rich and poor. Again, in their eyes, He did things the wrong way.
For the Jews, this was completely wrong. They perceived Him as being weak and the only way they could reconcile the differences between their view of the Savior and how Jesus lived, was to get rid of Him. He turned out to be the Savior of the world, not just the Jews. He ended up being crucified instead of crucifying their enemies.
He upended the structure they had so carefully built for themselves and exposed the evil and hypocrisy in their hearts. He proclaimed Himself to be the servant of all. A servant could not possibly be a Savior.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
4. Jesus was A Revolutionary in his Teaching
The Jewish Priests had established the rules of life, some of which had been handed for thousands of years. There was greed, deceit, hypocrisy and a religious form that did not promote the needs of the people. They were far from being servants.
The teachings of Jesus included all kinds of things that the Jews and Romans disagreed with and hated:
- The Beatitudes are filled with His ‘wrong’ teaching. Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are the weak; blessed are the merciful; you (the unworthy people listening to Him) are salt and light; murder and adultery start in the heart.
- He said that we should turn the other cheek, and go the extra mile.
- Love your enemies and bless those who curse you!
- Fast only to be seen by God, not by man and lay your treasures up in heaven.
- You can’t serve God and money.
When the Pharisees confronted Him about the fact that the disciples ate bread without first washing their hands, here was His answer:
“Jesus answered, ‘And why do ignore the commandment of God because of your traditions? For didn’t God say, ‘Honor your Father and Mother,’ and ‘whoever abuses or insults his father or mother must be put to death?’
But you teach that it’s permissible to say to your parents when are in financial need, ‘Whatever gift you would have received from me I can keep for myself, since I dedicated it as an offering to God.’ This doesn’t honor your father or your mother. And you have elevated your tradition above the Words of God. Frauds and hypocrites! Isaiah described you perfectly when he said:
“These people honor me only with their words, for their hearts are so very distant from me. They pretend to worship me, but their worship is nothing more than the empty traditions of men.” Matthew 15:3-9 TPT
Sadly, this describes some Christians today. Our traditions don’t reflect the things Jesus loved and hated and taught. He hated the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, yet we often tolerate it in ourselves and our leaders. He hated it because it did not show love and harmed others due to selfishness and greed. Denying your parents what they need in order to keep your money for yourself, is not love.
Traditions, in themselves, can be beautiful things. However, when we establish traditions, standards, or mindsets that go against Jesus’ example and teaching, we are wrong.
Jesus established a new commandment in John 13:34-35. The First and Greatest Commandment was that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus’ new commandment added a new dimension:
“So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.” John 13:34-35 TPT
Here is the Footnote from The Passion Translations for those two verses, “John 13:34 Jesus sets a new standard of love before his followers. Although the Old Testament does instruct us to love one another (Lev. 19:18, 34; Deut. 10:18), Jesus now gives the commandment to use His standard and example of love and sacrifice for us as the true measurement of love as we care for one another.
That is the standard of love Jesus wants to see working through every part of our lives. The rest of the commandments would be irrelevant if we lived by this standard! Adultery, stealing, worship of false gods, taking God’s name in vain, failing to observe the Sabbath, failing to honor your parents, murdering, and lying would not happen. If same love that Jesus had filled us, we could not and would not do those things.
The Scribes, Pharisees, Romans and others refused to let go of their position, power, and money not realizing that the gifts they could receive from the Father through Jesus and the Holy Spirit would be far greater and more wonderful than anything they had, but getting it required humility and death to self.
Instead, they considered the promises Jesus made to be blasphemous and hated Him because the people loved Him! They feared His power and thought they could eliminate it. The devil was positive he would have the ultimate victory by killing Jesus. He knew exactly who and what Jesus was, but believed he could capture humanity once-and-for-all and seduced greedy people into doing his bidding by crucifying Jesus.
5. Jesus Was A Revolutionary In His Death
Jesus endured a horrible, humiliating, painful death and He did it for the “joy set before Him.” What was the joy? Read this series of Scriptures to understand what Jesus did and why He did it.
Hebrews 12:2 TPT, We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
Isaiah 53:4-6 TPT, Yet he was the one who carried our sicknesses and endured the torment of our sufferings. We viewed him as one who was being punished for something he himself had done, as one who was struck down by God and brought low.
But it was because of our rebellious deeds that he was pierced and because of our sins that he was crushed. He endured the punishment that made us completely whole, and in his wounding we found our healing. Like wayward sheep, we have all wandered astray. Each of us has turned from God’s paths and chosen our own way; even so, Yahweh laid the guilt of our every sin upon him.
1 Peter 2:23-25 TPT, When he was verbally abused, he did not return with an insult; when he suffered, he would not threaten retaliation. Jesus faithfully entrusted himself into the hands of God, who judges righteously. He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness. Our instant healing flowed from his wounding. You were like sheep that continually wandered away, but now you have returned to the true Shepherd of your lives—the kind Guardian who lovingly watches over your souls.
Jesus’ death shocked the spiritual realms as well with His death because – He didn’t stay dead! The ultimate cosmic surprise was Jesus not only rising from the dead but going into hell and taking away the keys of death and hell! Then taking up His rightful throne at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.
The man they thought was weak, turned out to have the ultimate power but it was all fueled by Love! Jesus really was a revolutionary! Yet, not in the way the world anticipated. His was a reverse revolution:
- Power came through weakness.
- Glory came through humility.
- Life came through death.
- Light overcame darkness.
- Love overcame hate
- Spirit overcame flesh.
- Eternal Life for all came through the death of One.
- Peace came through sacrifice.
6. Jesus Was A Revolutionary And So Were His Disciples
Jesus was a revolutionary. His revolutionary followers were referred to as the ones who turned the world upside down!
Some of the Jews were convinced that their message was true, so they joined Paul and Silas, along with quite a few prominent women and a large number of Greeks who worshiped God. But many of the Jews were motivated by bitter jealousy and formed a large mob out of the troublemakers, unsavory characters, and street gangs to incite a riot. They set out to attack Jason’s house, for he had welcomed the apostles into his home.
The mob was after Paul and Silas and sought to take them by force and bring them out to the people. When they couldn’t find them, they took Jason instead, along with some of the brothers in his house church, and dragged them before the city council.
Along the way they screamed out, “Those troublemakers who have turned the world upside down have come here to our city. And now Jason and these men have welcomed them as guests. They’re traitors to Caesar, teaching that there is another king named Jesus.” Acts 17:4-7 TPT
How had they ‘turned the world upside down’? Through love, healing, and proclaiming a King who was had been flesh and blood. Jesus’ position in heaven was viewed as a threat to the Emperor who sat on an earthly throne. How was Jesus possibly a threat?
The thought was that these disciples and their message would undermine the Roman Empire. Yet, Jesus’ teaching had been to respect authority and give to Caesar what was due to him. The believers were not a threat in the way these people imagined.
What were they really afraid of? As I have said, my opinion is that they feared the loss of power, position, and money and all this fear came because they did not want to understand the Kingdom of God. They did not want change because they were filled with fear and greed.
If everyone on earth was willing to understand why Jesus came to earth as a man, then they would embrace Him. Why did Jesus come? Here are His words those of the Bible to answer that:
21 Reasons Why Jesus Came:
- To do the will of the Father – John 6:38
- To save sinners – 1 Timothy 1:15
- To bring light – John 12:46
- To bear witness to the truth – John 18:37
- To destroy the devil and his works – Hebrews 2:14 and 1 John 3:8
- To show what true humility is – Philippians 2:5-8
- To proclaim good news and liberty – Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1-2
- To bring judgment – John 9:39-41
- To give His life as a ransom for many – Mark 10:45
- To fulfill the law and the prophets – Matthew 5:17
- To reveal God’s love to sinners – John 3:16
- To call sinners to repent – Mark 2:17
- To seek and save the lost – Luke 19:5-10
- To serve – Mark 10:45
- To bring peace – John 14:27
- To adopt us as His sons and daughters – Romans 8:15
- To make us partakers of His divine nature – 2 Peter 1:4
- To establish an eternal kingdom – Isaiah 9:6-7
- To be a merciful and faithful High Priest forever – Hebrews 2:17-18
- To satisfy our deepest thirst – John 4:13-14
- To open the door to the Kingdom of God to ALL who would believe – John 1:12
7. Jesus Was A Revolutionary Example To Body That Is Still Being Built
So Jesus’ revolution was not at all what the people of that time thought it was. It also was not what many today think it is. It wasn’t about establishing a “church” – as in a building or denomination or religion which is how we generally refer to it now. He came to establish His ‘church.’
The Greek word used in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said He would build His ‘church’ on this rock is ekklesia and means – “people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.” It is the entire body of believers.
While it’s not wrong that we use the term ‘church’ to refer to a building, denomination or group, we always need to be reminded that it is so much bigger, varied, and powerful than what we can imagine. The Body of Christ is still being enlarged each day.
8. Jesus Is A Revolutionary For All Eternity
Jesus literally changed the world, the future, and eternity. He did it by restoring man’s relationship with God. He did it by opening the door to the eternal Kingdom of God in heaven for everyone who believes.
I would encourage you to read all the Scriptures from this blog and really consider them in light of how you view what He did, is still doing, and wants to do for the future. I have included all the Scriptures for you to download below, and I hope you read them and are built up in your faith and love for God.
If you are a woman ministering, then wherever you are the church is. You are the church. Yes, you are just one part but try to be inspired to see yourself in a larger light. You are the church. We are the church established by the King to continue turning the world upside down. Not to establish a religion or traditions of man. Our job is to establish the Kingdom of God wherever we are and in everything we do.
Here is the download I promised. Just click on the image, download the pdf file to your computer, then print or just save to your computer. There are 10 pages of Scripture.
**WM uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.