The Radical Revolutionary

Andre P. Llewellyn©2010




At the very beginning of Jesus ministry he preaches the message of the Kingdom of God. It is a movement where Jehovah is reclaiming the „whole world‟ as his own, through his Messiah.

So He spearheads God's kingdom movement that is radical, revolutionary and is rejected by many.

The Kingdom of God

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven/God is near.” Matt. 3;1 -2

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1;15

The Kingdom of God

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9;1-2




The Kingdom of God

Jesus wasn‟t starting a new religion. This radical movement;
a. b. c. d. Starts with Jews [Jesus & his disciples] Directs allegiance to the Jewish God Is rooted in Jewish expectation & tradition Functions within Jewish religious practices.






In seeking to redefine what holiness and purity really meant, Jesus directly challenged one of the most common social practices by his dining practices and the choice of people he ate with.
Who were his table companions and what was wrong with his table etiquette?

“The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. " Mk. 7;1-2

“So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands? " Mk. 7;5

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. " Mk. 2;15

“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." Lk. 19;5

“Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Lk. 15;1-2

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners.” Matt. 11;19

Why did Jesus‟ table practice invite such sharp hostility among his Jewish opponents and what does his table fellowship have to do with Holiness and the Kingdom of God ?

Fellowship around meals symbolized social relationships - it meant intimate fellowship based on honour and trust. From a religious standpoint it symbolized holy separation and purity to God. Jesus‟ actions were seen as sacrilegious, and violations of Jewish social and ceremonial codes.

Jesus‟ actions were deliberate „action parables‟ aimed at defining the true meaning of holiness.

1. Purity is about inward condition. Religious and social traditions do not make someone holy.
2. True holiness means connecting and restoring those considered „unrighteous‟.



The Jews expected the Messiah to establish a physical Kingdom that would overthrow Roman rule, and secure political and religious freedom. Therefore, to the average Jew, Jesus' actions and teachings regarding the Kingdom did not fit such a blueprint.

Thus John‟s the Baptist‟s doubts “…Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Lk. 7;18-19

The Pharisee’s misconception -

“Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Lk. 17;20-21

The Crowd’s misconception “The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.” Lk. 19;11

Undoubtedly, because of his radical actions many Jews saw Jesus as a rebel and a liar teaching falsely about the Kingdom. But what was a bigger slap in the face of the Jewish leaders was that Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God was not an exclusive club. Everyone had Hope of entering the Kingdom of God!

“…many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside…”Matt. 8;11-12

"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
Matt. 21:43

Jesus‟ revolutionary message of hope was aimed at showing Israel that – 1. Their hope does not lie in a physical kingdom but a spiritual one where resistance to Rome was to be replaced by love and prayer. That the enemy was not Rome rather it was sin.

2. Gentile‟s racial identity is no automatic bar from the kingdom, and that their Jewish identity is no guarantee of entering the kingdom. That faith in Him is the means of entry John 3;16.

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