Revelation 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
In Cuba, July of 1953, Fidel Castro with few than one-hundred men stormed the beaches at Moncada Army Barracks. Castro was dissatisfied with Batista’s rule over Cuba, asserting that he had “grown soft” on the finances of American Businessmen; as a patriot he had to act.
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
In Cuba, July of 1953, Fidel Castro with few than one-hundred men stormed the beaches at Moncada Army Barracks. Castro was dissatisfied with Batista’s rule over Cuba, asserting that he had “grown soft” on the finances of American Businessmen; as a patriot he had to act. However, on that day in 1953, Castro’s attack was a failure. He was tried, found guilty, and spent two years in a Cuban jail. Afterward, Castro made his way to Mexico, where he gained support before returning to Cuba in 1956 with who would later be known to the world as the Mexican Revolutionaries. Rather than fighting their way through Batista again, they hid in the Maestra Mountains, receiving support from peasants and farmers who lived nearby.
It was there that Castro would begin to inflict numerous casualties on Batista’s armies, through military tactics known as “guerrilla warfare” that Batista eventually was forced to flee in 1959. On that day, the revolutionary known as Fidel Castro rose to power.
The word ‘revolution’ comes from the roman phrase ‘res novae’, which means ‘new things’. A revolution is an attempt to renew the status quo, creating a new order, a new way of life.
2000 years ago, in 29 ad, in a little known part of the world called Judea, a man named Jesus changed the world as we know it. Which makes Jesus Christ the Ultimate Revolutionary. Life was no longer about the Laws of God, but about Love for God. It wasn’t about regulation, but restoration. To this day, the name of Jesus is discussed, argued, refuted, and exalted. No single human being in the history of human kind has caused such a stir as Jesus did. There is a reason. The bells of Jesus’ revolution have rung throughout the pages and ages of history, and we hear them ringing in our ears today.
How was Jesus revolutionary? His life’s purpose, summed up in a single moment, changed the course of history, and the nature human-kind’s relationship with the Almighty God. No other man has ever made such a claim, as to say “I am” (John 8:58); a claim that anyone hearing it would understand as the claim to the divinity of God (Exodus 3:14). However, his revolution didn’t begin with his claim, it began with his call.
Focus on the Few
Late in the year 26 ad, on the shores of a Lake Galilee, a grizzled fisherman named Peter, and his brother Andrew, were just putting out nets to fish, tired from a night of empty nets and lowered expectations. Along the shore stood a carpenter/preacher that everyone in the area knew as Jesus, who had, only a few days before, spoken publicly about the kingdom of God and performed many miracles. The carpenter called out to the fishermen, who turned around startled at his presence. He said, in a solemn voice, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) They, immediately, did just that.
Jesus later called 10 other men to follow, 12 in total. Why just twelve? Why not twenty, thirty, or 120? History reveals the answer, as these men, who would later be called the Apostles (messengers), would shake the First Century world to its very core. The aftermath of which we still feel today.
Jesus’ choice of men could be considered “revolutionary”. He did not choose the most learned men, the most talented, the most financially stable, or the most socially acceptable. He chose fishermen, terrorists, tax-collectors, and the man who would, one day, betray him to death (Matthew 10:2-4). If I were to start a movement that would change the world, I would have chosen otherwise.
Though, Jesus did have the choice of any person who presented himself, and he could have spread himself out to hundreds of men to create an army worthy of conquering the world, he focused on the Twelve. The Twelve were quarrelsome, selfish, self-righteous, and, at times, simply did not understand the things Jesus tried to teach them. However, what they lacked in brawn and brains, they made up for in the most crucial element of a revolution: loyalty.
For the next 3 years of his life, Jesus would spend every day, every waking moment, pouring his heart into these 12 men. What was his goal? To make men who were just like Him. History would reveal that these men would one day be called Christians (Acts 11:6-28), which of course means “like-Christ.”
We understand that Jesus’ revolutionary method of “selection” is full-proof, and has gone down in history as the best choice ever made. What would we say was his methodology of evangelism? Its as simple as war.
First of all, in order to have war you have to have an enemy. I believe many so-called Christians today have forgotten that there is, in fact, a malevolent force in the universe that wants us dead. The bible calls this force Satan, or the Devil (1 Peter 5:8). Now, this enemy doesn’t want you discouraged, though thats always a benefit for his ultimate goal. Instead, he wants to kill you. I don’t speak metaphorically. In the same way that a lion wishes to devour a baby zebra, or a young gazelle, Satan wants to eat Christians. He wants us dead, and out of his way. The sooner we understand this, the sooner we can begin the next phase of warfare.
In keeping with Jesus’ methodology of “Focusing on the Few”, one may raise the question: “How do you fight a superior enemy with inferior forces?” Well, I’m gad you asked. The term is ‘guerrilla warfare’.
Guerrilla warfare is defined as “the use of hit-and-run tactics by small, mobile groups of irregular forces operating in territory controlled by a hostile, regular force.” The word ‘guerrilla’ means ‘little war’ in Spanish, and has been used since the 18th century to describe this particular type of combat. It was also a common tactic used throughout the American Revolution (The Patriot, 2000, Film).
The tactic worked for Fidel Castro, it worked for Mel Gibson, and it worked for Jesus. In the International Christian Churches, we implement this biblical methodology in the form of Bible Talks. Every disciple (christian) is assigned to a Bible Talk (BT), which is lead by the Bible Talk Leader. This
BT is given a geographic location, such as a school, mall, or neighborhood, or a demographic, such as ‘campus students’ or ‘single professionals’. That small group then proceeds to ‘wage war’ on their area of influence by studying the bible with any willing individual and helping them to a point of res novae (revolution) in their own lives.
This method has worked in inflicting major casualties, and, in the process, has recruited many other revolutionary men and women to the Ultimate Revolution of Jesus Christ.
Commitment to the Cause
In 29 ad, in the early part of the year, money was exchanged for innocent life. Through selfishness, jealousy, and personal gain the religious leaders of the Jewish faith had the man Jesus hung on a crucifix until death (Matthew 26:36-28:20). This was the darkest day in human history, and yet, at the same time, it was the brightest. Regardless of personal opinion, without such an event, however cruel as it may have been, there would never have been a revolution. The impact of this day has never been equaled by any man or any religion in the history of men.
In the movie Lawless, directed by John Hilcoat in 2012, Shia LaBeouf plays a young moonshiner in Virginia in 1931. With his two older brothers, the Bondurants become the last true surviving outlaw bootleggers in the States. They’re mostly left alone, until the Sheriff’s Deputy arrives demanding payment, which the boys are unwilling to abide by. They’re faced with a terrifying question in the face of bowing down to corrupt law, or upholding their own set of principles. The question becomes, “How far are you willing to go?”
It is the question of all true revolutionaries. How far are you willing to go, to see change happen in the world? True change? Some think true change will come through the advancement of sciences and psychologies, but what will that truly accomplish? Divorce rates are at 75%, and the percent of our population using anxiety or depression medication is continuing to rise. Can science change the hearts of men, and give them true morality, ethics, and values? Will science do away with murder, hatred, jealousy, or adultery? Can science annihilate hopelessness as well as it did at Hiroshima? Can it find the cure for heartache?
How far are you willing to go, so see change in the world? How far will you go to see a revolution happen in the hearts of other men and women? We’ve seen it all in the movies, and we’ve read it in books… There is a price to pay for freedom, and there is a price to pay for revolution.
When the Paris mob stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and paraded the governors head through the city, King Louis XVI woke startled from his slumber. “Is it a revolt?” he asked. “No, sire,” came the awful reply. “It is a revolution.”
Jesus was the ultimate revolutionary. From his choice of men to his choice of methods, Jesus’ ministry rings throughout history as the most revolutionary incident to happen on our humble planet. His commitment to his cause brought him to die on a crucifix. Yet, even death was unable to prevent the res novae of Jesus, he still had one more new thing to show. On that triumphant Easter morning, Jesus, the Ultimate Revolutionary, rose from the dead.
And the world hasn’t heard the end of it.
Written by: David Jefferson