THE JEWISH REVOLUTION MINDSET
(Luke 24:19-21, Acts 1:6)
Several centuries before Jesus was born, Prophet Isaiah had prophesied about His birth.
Several other Prophets had prophesied about where He would be born, what He would do and how He would die.
All these were in the Old Testament Scripture which was available to the Jews.
They read it.
They studied it.
They memorized it.
They KNEW the Scriptures.
BUT THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT.
They did not understand what the Messiah was coming for. They did not understand His mission. They erroneously thought He was coming to deliver Israel from Roman Control by executing a Jewish Revolution. They thought He was coming to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel.
In those days, Israel was ruled by the Romans. The Israelites were like Second Class Citizens in their own Country. Just like Blacks in South Africa during the Apartheid Regime in that Country.
Some Jews then formed a group called “The Zealots” whose task was to uphold the fundamental values of the Jews and Judaism, fight against the oppression of the Romans and try re-establish the Kingdom of Israel under Judaism. Simon the Zealot, one of Jesus’ Disciples was a member of this Group.
Jesus started His ministry and picked 12 men to follow Him.
They were the 12 Disciples. 12 men from various backgrounds all came together to be with Jesus for the next 42 months of their lives. But they had one thing in common; they misunderstood Jesus’ Ministry! They thought the Ministry was a Political Movement to kick out the Romans.
He was seen as the Nelson Mandela of Israel, the Man destined to end “Apartheid” in Israel and execute a Jewish Revolution!
The irony is, these 12 Disciples held this opinion for 42 months.
That is a very long time to be WRONG!
So, when Jesus would speak in parables, they understood differently.
When Jesus would say, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” the Disciples thought He was talking about the Kingdom of Israel.
So, because of their wrong mindset and perception, all the teachings, sayings, miracles, doctrines of Jesus were totally misunderstood!
They had a lot of zeal for the wrong things, the things that Jesus did not care about.
They followed Jesus because they thought he was going to be the Leader of The Jewish Revolution. They were excited when Jesus appeared on the scene. They believed their Redemption from Roman Occupation had come! They were looking for the establishment of an earthly kingdom, but Jesus came to establish a heavenly one. AND FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS, THEY DIDN’T GET IT!
Imagine being with Jesus 24/7, hearing Him talk everyday, teaching Spiritual Principles and expounding New Testament Doctrines for 42 months, yet everything He said flew over your head!
Jesus knew this. But He kept on teaching and preaching, anyway. He didn’t bother to explain His ministry. He knew it was beyond their ken, but He continued teaching and preaching.
There was a time the people decided to make Him a king by force but He escaped from the mob. He knew they did not understand that the Kingdom He came to establish was not a physical, earthly one.
So, when He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Disciples saw their hope fading away so they reacted! Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of one of the men who came to arrest Him. They just could not bear to see their hope die without putting up any form of resistance! And to make it worse, JESUS HEALED THE MAN! At that point, they gave up. That was why they fled.
Jesus was arrested, tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion. As He hung there on the cross, the Disciples saw Him helpless for the first time. This was the Man they had expected to deliver Israel from the Romans being killed like a common thief by the same Romans!
These men were disappointed. They felt they had just wasted 42 months of their lives. They did not know what next to do. Peter decided to go back to what he knew to do: fishing.
Now, when Jesus resurrected 3 days later, He met 2 disciples walking to
Emmaus. They were having a discussion and He joined them. “What are you guys talking about?” He asked. They told Him. And they added, ‘We thought He was the one that would deliver Israel from Roman Occupation! We thought he would execute the Jewish Revolution!” (Luke 24:21).
When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven and He was telling His Disciples to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, they asked Him, “So, is this the time you will restore the Kingdom to Israel? Will you now carry out the Jewish Revolution we have been expecting since we joined you?” (Acts 1:6)
They still didn’t get it; they were still looking for the Jewish Revolution.
Until the Holy Spirit came upon them on the Day of Pentecost.
Now, here’s the thing: you can be with Jesus for long and grossly misunderstand Him. You could misunderstand His ways, His leading, His directions and instructions.
You can be very opinionated and very passionate about an issue but you can be wrong.
The Disciples were very opinionated and passionate about the Jewish Revolution.
They talked about it.
They wrote about it.
They prayed about it.
It was the number one topic of discussion everywhere.
They were very committed to it, they simply assumed it was God’s Plan for Israel.
If anyone had told them the coming Messiah had absolutely NO PLANS to restore the Kingdom of Israel, if anyone had told them the Messiah was going to die on the cross to establish His Kingdom, they would have argued.
If anyone had told them there would never be a Jewish Revolution, it would have been difficult for them to accept.
They had invested too much emotions, energy, time and money into the concept of a coming Jewish Revolution for them to just let it go.
Just as it is today: so many people invest emotions, energy, time and money in processes, plans and ideas they believe are God’s plans. When reality hits them, they find it difficult to accept they have been wrong all the while!
The Disciples lacked understanding for 42 months. There was nothing during those months that made them question their stance on the Jewish Revolution. They believed in it passionately, but they believed wrong.
Question: what are the chances you are not believing wrong like the Disciples? What are the chances you are not waiting for a Jewish Revolution that will NEVER come? What are the chances you have a WRONG MINDSET?
Ponder on that…