Monday, April 20, 2015

Sprinkle - Fight (7) Jesus

Preston Sprinkle explains in his book called Fight how Jesus was born in a time when militarism was strong.

The Prince of Peace was born into a world drowning in violence. The years between the Old and New Testaments were anything but silent, as kingdom rose up against kingdom, nation warred against nation, and the Jewish people hacked their way to freedom with swords baptized in blood.

The Maccabees reclaimed their religious and political freedom and set up a quasi-messianic kingdom through violent force. The success of Maccabean swords would shape the way Jewish people in Jesus’s day would understand—and anticipate—the kingdom of God.

This was the world Jesus entered, a world ruled by violence. Many Jews sought freedom through bloodshed. Others kept their swords close at hand, ready for a signal to rise up and conquer. During Jesus’s lifetime on earth, several messianic figures rose up to establish God’s kingdom through violent revolution.

Despite the failure of these many revolts, the earlier success of the Maccabees ensured that messianic zeal was not easily snuffed out. Hope still burned for the establishment of God’s kingdom through force.

Despite the widespread expectation of peace envisioned by the Hebrew prophets, history had gone a different direction. The Maccabean kingdom cultivated a thirst for political independence through the sword. Yet from birth to death, Jesus preached a non-Maccabean kingdom. He would bear a plowshare, not a sword, and set up God’s kingdom without using violence. And He would tell His followers to do the same.

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