Leading a Rebellion: Jesus
Rebelled Social Norms
-A rebel is a person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry He went against what society felt was normal. He challenged what they believed in almost every aspect of life. Some of these things we have already discussed in detail previously, and others we will discuss in greater detail later.
-Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
-Jesus Welcomed the Children (Matt 19:13-15)
In today’s western culture, children play a much more public role. Children were always “to be seen but not heard.” They were under very strict rules, and held to a high standard. They were allowed to play up until the point where they could work and then they were expected to be working to help the family. Children were never allowed to run the family like Honey Boo Boo does today. Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but children today run more of the family than ever would have been normal in Biblical times with ball games, practices, p/t jobs to earn money for themselves and not the family. We can see how children were viewed by seeing how the disciples reprimanded the parents for letting the children be around Jesus.
Then the people brought their little children to Jesus so he could put his hands on them and pray for them. His followers told them to stop, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children.” 15 After Jesus put his hands on the children, he left there.
-Greatness Through Serving (Mark 10:35-45)
Do you remember when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet? Whenever someone entered a home for the night, the lowest person on the proverbial totem pole washed everyone else’s feet. At this particular time nobody felt like they were the lowest person so Jesus took it upon Himself to grab a towel, and a basin of water and started washing feet.
Saying that “Greatness comes through serving” back then would be like saying “winning comes by losing.” If that’s the case I’m the best Chess player there is. He also said in Matthew 20:16 “The first will be last and the last will be first.” In other words, “it may seem like your winning according to the world’s standards (Big house, nice car, hot wife, nice family picture for the annual Christmas card), but in reality you are really losing. And those who seem to be losing are really winning.”
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave[b] of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
-Murder and Adultery (Matt 5:21-22; 27-28)
Jesus turned the tables on the people who thought they were keeping the laws. Jesus actually intensified the laws making everyone guilty.
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
-Divorce (Matt 19:9)
The Old Testament says in Deut. 24:1 says that a man can give his wife a certificate of divorce if he finds a defect in her. When Jesus was questioned about divorce He said that Moses allowed that because of the hardness of the Jews’ hearts, but it was never God’s intention. At Jesus’ time according to the laws and traditions of the Jews, they could divorce their wife if:
-she had a bodily defect that was previously unknown before the wedding. (This would be like a warranty on a car. There was even a suggestion that a woman should be inspected by a female relative prior to the wedding.)
-she had any defects that would prevent a priest from serving at the temple. i.e. a hunchback, she became blind, deaf, lame, disfigured, deformed, had a crippled hand or foot, an eye defect, or damaged sexual organs.
-she had bad breath, a mole, or if she was an excessive sweater.
-a dog bit her, and if that dog bite left a scar, it would be a bodily defect and a cause for divorce.
-she had a harsh voice.
-she spoke too loudly. If while talking in her house the neighbors next door could hear her it was a cause for divorce.
-she feeds her husband the wrong food or commits another offense according to the Jewish dietary restriction. If she used too much or not enough salt, it was a cause for divorce.
-she went outside with her head uncovered.
-she cursed her in-laws with her husband present.
-she talked with other men.
-she made a vow and didn’t keep it.
But Jesus gave His grounds for divorce.
And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.
Christianity in America is at its all-time lowest point of popularity, and its only getting worse. If you’re going to be a Bible believing Christian in America you better be prepared to swim against the stream. All you have to do to prove my point is go online, or if you don’t have facebook, go to a public place and pass out fliers announcing that: 1) You believe Jesus is the ONLY way to go to Heaven; 2) You believe homosexuality is a sin; 3) you believe abortion is murder. Then wait to see how popular you are.
Right is right and wrong is wrong. God doesn’t work off of popular opinion, and if you’re going to be a Christian you better be willing to stand out. Jesus disagreed with popular opinion and if it isn’t Biblical so should you.
My challenge for the week: Find three popular opinions that differ from the Bible. And don’t pick the easy ones. It could be about sex, social media, child rearing, marriage, divorce, work, welfare, drugs….