About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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A Converted Insurrectionist


I personally would not have done it, but Jesus chose a variety of personality types to be His apostles.  One such person was Simon, a Jewish zealot (Mark 3:18), who like many others wanted to overthrow the Roman government in the name of God.  Those like Simon demanded their freedom from what they considered to be Roman tyranny.  Of course, the limited freedom they did have was lost in 70 AD in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.  It was then that Jerusalem fell to Rome as an act of God's judgment on a secularized Judaism.  The Jewish zealots, or insurrectionists as we'd call them today, failed to recognize that freedom from tyranny was not the real issue.  The real issue was the secularizing of God's people which led to the loss of the little freedom they had.      


When Simon met Jesus he might have figured this was his chance to join a movement that could bring about the insurrection.  Jesus certainly had the miraculous ability to facilitate Simon's fantasy to free God's people, but that was not His choice.  Little did Simon know at the time, but Jesus would overthrow all nations in one massive insurrection at the end of this age (Revelation 18 - 19).      


Simon must have been bewildered and disappointed to hear Jesus say such things as recorded in John 18:36. 


"Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.'"


Simon soon learned that Jesus did not call him to overthrow political tyrants on behalf of God.  His primary allegiance would be to the heavenly kingdom, not to his secularized Jewish state.  His aspirations for a so-called godly armed rebellion were over.  He would change his surrounding culture one heart at a time through the preaching of the cross of Christ, something that sounds foolish to our human reasoning, as seen in 1 Corinthians 1:18.


"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."


Simon, the insurrectionist, became Simon the Christian.  No longer would he waste his time, effort, and money fighting an earthly tyrannical state that would eventually fall in divine judgment.  He finally realized that freedom from tyranny only comes about when one's heart is free from the tyranny of sin.  


Like Simon the converted insurrectionist, we must realize that our real fight is against the tyranny of sin that rules in our hearts.   


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