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.
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.Let’s point to a fresh way of worshiping God in spirit and truth. Click To Tweet
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 spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God 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.