The Jews lived through hundreds of years of captivity in foreign lands, and they were finally returned to their homeland, Judea, one of many nations dominated by the massive military might of the Roman Empire. Every Israelite knew the prophecies about a coming Messiah, the Anointed One who would deliver their people. The Messiah would be a direct descendant of Israel’s greatest king, David, the psalmist & fearsome warrior who led Israel in the overthrow of the Philistines. He ruled & reigned in power & might. As David’s descendant, it was thought the Messiah would overthrow the Roman oppressors & ascend David’s throne as King of Israel.
When Jesus came declaring, “the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent & believe the gospel,” His people kept expecting that if He was the Messiah, He would lead the fight for freedom, & start a revolution.
Except He didn’t. He didn’t provoke rebellion against the Romans like so many in Judea had done before Him. He didn’t try to stir up Israel in a nationalistic fervor. He didn’t focus on all the elements of a kingdom that seemed so obvious to everyone: political, economic, & military power.
Instead, He proclaimed a kingdom that was unlike any other – a Jesus REVOLUTION– centered on loving God & loving people. And the world hasn’t been the same since.
This Christmas season at Hillside, we will be inviting God to do a Jesus REVOLUTION – & exploring where it begins, how it spreads, & how it applies in each of our lives.