Do you know that Jesus never advocated civil disobedience? Oh, that was what He was charged with – disrespect for Roman authority and working to over throw the Roman government – but what He is documented as saying is:
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (Matthew 22:17-21 KJV)
That must be an important message, it’s repeated in Mark 12:17 and Luke 20:25. Or, how about:
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. (Matthew 5:38-41 KJV)
Roman soldiers could compel citizens for a mile – Jesus tells us to offer two. The graphic for today is a screen capture from Michael Belk’s Journeys With The Messiah. I’ve found a couple of sites that were vitriolic in their dislike for this photo, stating how disgustingly immoral Nazi’s were. Could we possibly say the Roman army was better? Yet Jesus never offered physical resistance to Rome or Rabbis.
There was one exception in regard to His anger:
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Matthew 21:12-13 KJV)
He did not show anger when His message was ignored:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37 KJV)
And, the most important to me of what He said is in John’s third chapter:
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. (John 3:9-11 KJV)
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a religious leader, a “master of Israel” in the words of our Lord, yet he asked “How can these things be” the same way that question is asked today by so many. Jesus gave the bottom line, simplistic, non-theological answer that remains unacceptable to some today:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:14-18 KJV)
He came not to change Roman society, Jewish society or American society. He came to change individual lives, creating a personal relationship. How’s that working in your life?