You know those AT&T commercials where a guy sits at a table with 4 or 5 little kids & asks them questions, then helps guide them on entertaining rambles? Those are among my favorites. New Years’ week, one came out with a kid going on & on about “New Year’s Revolutions…” I laughed. :) (You can watch it HERE.)
Later, I was thinking about “New Year’s Revolutions” – in the context of the “Holy Night” series we just finished. Everyone expected the Messiah, the Christ to bring a revolution – to deliver Israel (using military means) from the tyrannical oppression of the Roman Empire, to reclaim the throne of His ancestor, King David, & to dispense God’s judgment on the enemies of God’s people. Here’s something John the Baptist declared about the mission of the Christ:
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, & He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11,12
Whew! Fire? Threshing? Judgment? Unquenchable fire? That sounds revolutionary.
And yet as we look through the Gospels at Christ’s actions, we see a very different picture of ‘revolution’ – Jesus, a humble, submitted servant of God, launching into public ministry with His own water baptism, & visible infilling of the Holy Spirit. He then promptly was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for 40 days of fasting… & temptation at the hands of humanity’s ancient enemy, the devil. Christ resisted each & every temptation with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit & the proper application of God’s Word, the Scriptures.
It reminds me of the familiar scene in the garden of Eden when Adam & Eve disobeyed God when they gave in to the same devil’s temptation to eat a fruit God had forbidden. Where Adam & Eve’s actions led to humanity’s fall into sin & separation from God, Christ’s example in resisting temptation through Scripture lit a fuse that led to Him declaring the day of God’s favor & the restoration of relationship with God, as sons & daughters, for all who would receive Him.
Jesus did start a revolution… & it is still going on today.