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Jesus the revolutionary

Unsplash/Markus Winkler
Unsplash/Markus Winkler

Jesus is usually most recognized for His compassion and mercy as well as His miraculous signs and power to heal. Christ followers have championed His cause for the weak and His call for salvation. And yet there is one aspect of His nature that the Church has not been quite as ready to celebrate — or even embrace.

Jesus was a revolutionary.

Jesus came to disrupt the systems of men and displace them with something totally different. He not only challenged the status quo but rebuked those who couldn’t perceive another reality outside of their own. His interactions and conversations were constantly pushing the buttons of the Pharisees and even frustrating His own followers for their radical implications. Jesus came to revolutionize not only the culture itself but the way people thought. He came to shake up the way His followers perceived truth and totally alter the direction they were headed. People did not expect this of the Messiah. Thus, many missed His purpose and even condemned His mission.

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The question is — are we doing the same thing today? Has the Church put Jesus in a neat and tidy box that doesn’t allow Him to challenge the systems that keep us in bondage? Have we presumed His kindness to the extent we are unable to fathom His sharp pronouncements against the hypocrites and rebels? Though we are happy to embrace His softer attributes and compassionate deeds, are we willing to embrace His radical agenda that flies in the face of known traditions and acceptable practices? Do we dare recognize Him as a revolutionary who turned over tables in the Temple and called religious leaders snakes? 

Jesus saw past the façades and recognized the religious and political systems of the day that held people captive. The ideologies they had been fed were totally foreign to the Kingdom they were born for. He was not afraid to rebuke the religious leaders to their face and renounce their blinded agendas that kept people from the Truth. Jesus, full of compassion and Giver of mercy was certainly well known and gladly welcomed by all who benefited from His kindness. But, Jesus the Revolutionary? THAT Jesus was constantly blacklisted.

In everything He said and did, Jesus was deliberate and calculated in His mission to expose the frauds and transform the minds of those who were open and ready for change. He easily broke with tradition and put customs aside when they countered truth or subjugated people to the manipulations of men. He spoke up when expected to be silent and interfered when told to stand down. He was a trouble to the magistrates and a threat to the Pharisees. Yet, He never backed down and He never changed His mission. Even when His own followers were concerned about His approach and counseled Him to change tactics, He was unwavering in the message He came to bring.

That radical message was that there was another Kingdom at work beyond the kingdoms of men. The systems that controlled them were but poor imitations, and the governments of men were actually subject to the only one that truly mattered. Those they had looked to as the rulers of their existence were being shown as the hypocrites they were, and the people were now offered a choice. They had been created for something far higher and a mission far greater than that which they had been told. If they would believe in His message and embrace the call, God’s people could alter history and change the world forever.

It was only after Jesus’ resurrection that many of His disciples finally understood. It was only then that they connected the dots and saw the real revolution He had started. He was not starting a war in the natural as they had hoped. It was a spiritual battle for all ages that had to be fought on His terms and in the power of His Spirit. It was a battle for Kingdom authority — right in the midst of enemy occupation.

“The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (Psalms 110:2).

This kingdom clash continues in our day. Our spiritual adversaries have continued to oppose Jesus’ revolutionary message throughout the generations. Satan’s hopes of ruling the earth have continued unabated and the followers of Jesus must speak the same revolutionary message. His voice must be heard to declare a greater Kingdom at work. Though religious and political spirits continue to strip us of authority and threaten us through guilt and shame, the Champion of Hosts is cheering us on.

But this battle will require a Church that embraces revolutionary voices and heralds their message just as much as she champions social justice and acts of mercy. It will require spiritual leaders to recognize those with mantles like John the Baptist whose voice cried out in the wilderness — yet was unwelcome inside religious circles. There are radical changes that must be made in the days to come just as in Jesus’ day. Not only in our political systems, but in religious ones. Mindsets and belief systems that are born from tradition more than from the Spirit need to be overhauled. Doctrines of man that are void of spiritual power must be traded for life-giving truths that set men free and transform society. Will we embrace these changes with renewed vision, or blacklist those who dare question what’s always been?

Like Jesus, we need to demonstrate both truth and mercy as equally necessary and equally holy. It is this divine combination of unlimited mercy and righteous zeal that will set apart the true revolutionaries of today. May we recognize Jesus’ presence now and not miss our opportunity to alter history and change the world forever.

Wanda Alger is an ordained minister, commissioned fivefold leader, speaker, and author. She has produced numerous video and audio teaching series, and six books, including her latest, WORDS TO PRAY BY. She also hosts a YouTube and Rumble channel where she posts weekly videos of prophetic dreams, insights, and Kingdom strategies, and is active on social media. Find all her resources and writings at She is married to Bobby Alger, Lead Pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Winchester, Virginia which they founded together in 1998.

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