I have long viewd Jesus as a revolutionary. Jesus Christ brought drastic change to the world. Change to humanity’s view of God. Change to God’s view of humankind. Change to men’s view of women. Our Lord came to bring radical change to the old order of things, replacing it with a new order. He came to bring forth a new covenant – a new kingdom – a new birth – a new race – a new species – a new culture – a new civilization.
And yet, more and more, I view him as a rebel as well. He also came to change the past. He came to set right the effects of the fall, to push them back. He came to destroy the powers that dominate the world.
As we move foward - as we seek to shape the future - are we simultaneously rebelling with Jesus against the past? Are we endeavoring to push back the effects of sin and the fall? Are we rebels and revolutionaries at the same time - do we hold them in tension - or do we only look to the future?
All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus
Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
While their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus
Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus
Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus
The Rebel Jesus, by Jackson Browne