Recently I did a test called, "What Type of Person Are You?" I got Revolutionary. To say I was pleased would be understating how pleased I actually was. It's silly actually, since there's no scientific basis for these quizzes. So, now you know: I'm a closet quizzer.
So why was I pleased to be a Revolutionary? Well, to be a Circle Maker is to be a Revolutionary. To truly live the life Jesus calls "the abundant life" is to be a Revolutionary.
In Matthew 22: 35-40 Jesus, the ultimate Revolutionary, was being hammered by the religious authority.
One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Wow, talk about a Revolution! All the rules and regulations of the law boils down to two commands? Don't you think that rocked the status quo on their heels? And these two commands were not, I am sure, what the religious authority thought he'd say.
Jesus gives us some practical words about being a Revolutionary Christian in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5. Let's go over some of them.
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
I wonder if Jesus was thinking about what the prophet Micah said hundreds of years previous to his sermon that day. In the day of Micah, the prophet was giving the people the word from the Lord. The Lord was not pleased with his people. They had grown tired of him and were cruel to each other and their society was marked by corruption and immorality.
Micah 6:8 gives us exactly what he expects of us:
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Going back to what Jesus said about anger, what does the Bible say about people who have wronged us?
Romans 12:19-21 says,
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, 'I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord,' instead, 'If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.' Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good."
Talk about a Revolutionary idea! And Jesus exemplified this concept when he was hanging on that cross, suffering from the pain of his execution and from the insults hurled at him, "Father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing."
Back to Jesus Sermon on the Mount Jesus said
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
The Christian life as a revolutionary is not an easy life. We do have an enemy. Our enemy is not people. Our enemy uses people against us, but other people are not the enemy. Just as one of Jesus' revolutionary followers, Paul said,
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
In the Revolutionary Christian life, we are called to love those whom the enemy is using as weapons against us.
So, what are some ways we can become Revolutionary Christians?
Live to bring a smile to people for Jesus' sake, even those who would be hurtful to us.
Romans 12:9-13 says,
Don't just pretend that you love others: really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. When God's children are in need, you be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or if they need lodging, for the night.
Anyone who thinks the Christian life is boring or too restrictive hasn't really discovered what true Christianity is. No, Christianity, true Christianity, is a revolutionary life that challenges the conventional thinking of man and takes God at his word.
In Hunt for Red October, Marcos Ramius told Jack Ryan, "A little revolution now and then is a good thing, don't you think?" It can be a good thing when that revolution involves taking God at his word and trusting him with all our hearts. Join me in this Christian Revolution. Let's show the world what it really means to be a Christian.