The Jesus Revolution
a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.
How did Jesus start a revolution? Really, THE revolution.
How did a band of about 120 disciples of Jesus go from hiding in a room with the doors locked to turning the world upside down?
So often, I have been obsessed with WHAT the men and women did in the book of Acts. But so often, skip over WHY they did it. I’ve been reading the book by Simon Sinek, “Start With Why”. Let’s just say it has been challenging. I’m looking at the apostles, and myself, in a whole new light.
What was the Apostle’s “why”? Why did the world get turned upside down? Why did people walk into repentance, and get baptized, at alarming rates? We get stoked on 10%. The official first day of the church, by the power of the Holy Spirit, when from 120 to about 5120. That’s like…4000%.
Some people, namely this original 120, really, genuinely believed. That belief was heard and acted upon. To the point where the people in the crowd at Pentecost said: “What must we do?!?”. The response was mass baptism and repentance.
Then why did these 120 believe so deeply? Because, a dead man became a living man.
Then, that same power of the living man, was poured out onto and into these 120 followers of Jesus at Pentecost. Literally, the same life flowed through their bodies that flowed through Christ.
I want that. People will believe that. I want that why. I want a living Jesus. Not one I have to manipulate people to meet, or convince them of his reality.
The thing is with living people, they tend to TURN UP.
So, how do you start a revolution? You come back from the dead, and then share that same power that accomplished the defeat of death with your followers.
YOU OVERTHROW THE SYSTEM OF DEATH AND REPLACE IT WITH A SYSTEM OF LIFE.
Why follow Jesus? He’s alive
Why read my bible? He’s alive (therefore it’s alive when ACTED upon)
Why become a part of a group of believers? He’s alive
Why does the Sermon on the Mount matter? He’s alive
Why repent? He’s alive
Why be baptized? He’s alive
Why share the gospel with everyone you possibly can? He’s alive
Why be filled with the Holy Spirit? He’s alive
Why make disciples? He’s alive…and still teaching us.
a personal follower of Jesus during his life, especially one of the twelve Apostles.
You’ll notice above that the Websters definition of disciple states “during his life”. Well, I see what you tried to do there Webster, but he’s alive.
A living Jesus is our reason. In order to perpetuate this revolution, we must carry that same life in us. The life of the Spirit of Christ, or, Holy Spirit. Ask God to baptize you with the Holy Spirit consistently for a week and see what happens.
Now, how do you start a religion? You lose your living savior, his life becomes an idea just short of your reality. Then you start to manipulate into programs, routines, ritual, and argument. Because when the why is gone….there is only manipulation left.
Here are some blaring examples of manipulation when the why goes out the window. You’ll notice that businesses use the same (names of the types stolen from Simon Sinek)
“All you have to do is say a prayer” -Cost reduction
“Pray this prayer and you’ll be rich” – Aspirations
“Read your bible and you’ll be a better person” – Aspiration
“If you don’t come to this, you’ll get a phone call or a text” -Fear
“Listen to this new song/podcast” -Novelty
“Guest speaker today!” -Promotion
These things aren’t inherently wrong, except for a couple, I’ll let you and the Almighty decide that. If they are, though, the fuel in the tank of your life with Jesus, you are on a hamster wheel of disappointment….almost guaranteed.
When the why is genuine, the outcome will be genuine action.
People respond to that.
They’ll wait in line for that.
They fill a house to the point where there is no room, for that. (note the ministry of Jesus)
Ask yourself, why am I doing this Christianity thing? Let the Holy Spirit and the Word lead you, it might just change everything.