JOHN 7:7: “The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.” NLT
OBSERVATION: What was Jesus like? When we look at pictures of Jesus that have been painted they usually depict Him as a peaceful shepherd. When the world thinks of Jesus they usually refer to Him as a teacher and advocate of peace and philanthropy. In essence, the world has tried to sanitize the image of Jesus.
Jesus is all of the things noted above, but He was so much more. Jesus was a revolutionary figure. He came to the Jewish nation as God’s light to the world. And, the world He came to was mired in darkness and unbelief. Jesus’ very presence was a testimony of truth to a people who had moved far away from God’s truth. Immediately Jesus caught the attention of the religious leaders of Israel. And, this attention was not good!
Many do not see Jesus as a revolutionary. He did not come to lead the Jews in a military revolt against the Romans. He did not even get involved in the politics of His day. Jesus came as Messiah to the lost sheep of Israel. He came to call God’s chosen people back to the Father. He came to proclaim the truth of God’s word and nature to sheep who had wandered astray.
- “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:18-21 NLT
Jesus was not a revolutionary because of what He did. Jesus was a revolutionary because of who He was. He was God, in human flesh, the Eternal Word coming to live among us. He was the true light that shines brightly in the darkness. His very nature, His very presence, His very words caused a revolution in the lives and hearts of mankind. And, the majority of those who heard Him would reject Him.
I find it amazing today that those who espouse that which is counter to God’s written word use the person of Jesus to hide behind. They pick and choose His actions and words to hide behind. They try to turn His light into darkness. Yet, the light of Jesus’ life, words, and actions shine brightly against such insincere attempts!
- “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5 NLT
If we want to understand Jesus we need to listen to His own words. In Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, He prays,
- “I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.” John 17:14-19 NLT
Jesus came to start a revolution. It was not a revolution against political parties, armies, or nations. It was a revolution of truth. It was a revolution against the darkness of sin. It was a revolution of the true love of God. John writes in His epistles, we cannot love this world and love God at the same time. We cannot try to sanitize Jesus and make Him someone who fits our lifestyle. We must come to Him as the Lord of truth and humble ourselves before Him in sincere repentance.
The enemy knows that without the knowledge of sin there will be no conviction of sin. Without the conviction of sin, there will be no repentance. And, without repentance, there will be no faith unto salvation. Satan too is a revolutionary. He is a revolutionary of darkness. He is the driving force behind the sanitization of the life and image of Jesus. He will do anything he can to try and hide the light of life from the eyes of sinful man.
It is time that believers all over the world reclaim the revolution of truth! It is time that we let our lights shine brightly in a world filled with darkness. It is time that we count the cost and be willing to suffer for the cause of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not tiptoe around darkness – He exposed it! He did this boldly with His words and with His love. We are called to do the same!
- “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:15-16 NLT
Lord, help me to proclaim the living and risen Christ! Help me to boldly stand up for the truth and let my light shine. And, help me to resist the attempts of the enemy to not only sanitize the image of Jesus, but also his attempts to sanitize the image of what a follower of Jesus Christ should be like. Give me grace to live boldly and in the power of Your Holy Spirit!
In Jesus Name!