Christian Living

Did Jesus Lead a Spiritual Rebellion?

Jesus Sparked a Religious Revolution That We Must Continue to Pursue Today

As Jesus’s mission on earth winds down he celebrates Passover with his disciples and goes to the Mount of Olives to pray. Then a mob comes to capture him.

Jesus asks them, “Am I leading a rebellion that you must send an armed force to arrest me?” (See Luke 22:52.)

Not a Revolt Against a Government

The obvious answer is “no.” Jesus is not leading an uprising against his people or an insurrection to fight their Roman overlords.

Though we do see Jesus’s zeal when he makes a whip and drives the merchants from the temple, he doesn’t advocate a physical revolution.

During his ministry Jesus models acceptance and love. We see him as a strong but gentle man of peace, not a militant leader to overthrow an oppressive rule.

A Spiritual Rebellion Against Religiosity

But let’s look at this from a spiritual sense. Isn’t Jesus leading a spiritual rebellion? Though he doesn’t advocate doing away with Judaism, he does come to fulfill what the Old Testament promises and anticipates.

He promotes a new way of pursuing God, a relationship instead of rules.

This is a spiritual departure from what his people practiced for centuries. In its place he teaches them a new way of embracing God. In this sense, Jesus leads a rebellion, a spiritual revolution.

The Reformation

Five hundred years ago another spiritual rebellion took place. We politely call this the Reformation.

In this spiritual revolution, people begin to seek God as the Bible reveals, pushing aside centuries of misguided practices that religiously enslaved people instead of freeing them.

A Spiritual Rebellion Today

But what about now? Too many of our religious practices have diverged from what the Bible teaches and what God intends. Are we in need of another spiritual rebellion? The answer is “yes.” We need another Reformation.

But let’s not be militant or divisive in our reforms. Let’s be inclusive, loving, and accepting.

Let’s point to a fresh way of worshiping God in spirit and truth, of setting aside religious practices to embrace a truly biblical pursuit of Father God as taught by Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Moving Forward

This isn’t to condemn today’s practices as wrong, but to have the audacity to claim that there’s a better way. This is a spiritual rebellion worth following.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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4 replies on “Did Jesus Lead a Spiritual Rebellion?”

I agree we need to have some sort of spiritual revival. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say a revolution. Churches can be so inclusive they exclude those who are seeking better relationships with one another inside the church and in their own families.

In a husband and wife relationship, if the husband and wife are too busy recruiting and forming a relationship with the neighbours that they have no time to sit down with each other and their kids and their relatives, the family is going to need counselling. And of course counselling will only be effective if the husband and wife are “chained” to one another…committed to making the relationship work, like a Vinedresser and a Vine (Psalm 128:3). Once their relationship is solid, together they can work at discipling, teaching and raising the kids with the help of their relatives and the neighbourhood.

Modern times and Patriarchal language makes it extremely hard for many modern readers to see just how Christ and his Bride are chained together and committed to raising “godly” followers with the help of their neighbours, friends and relatives. So it is time for the Bride’s veil to be lifted so worshippers and followers of Christ can kiss see her “face to face”. The awesome thing about Christ and his Bride is that their love is ETERNAL…they found each other and their friends, relatives and neighbours. Death did not separate them or destroy their Love. Is that what you mean by a spiritual revolution?

I agree. I don’t think reformation is strong enough. Rebellion on the other hand sounds like putting on the whole armour of God and doing battle! (Ephesians 6:11) At first this sounded so militant. And now, after reading your post and a post on the “disconverted” by Ken Weliever the Preacherman I like the sound. Let’s sound the trumpet…”Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14).

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