Whereas some Jewish people sought salvation through political and military might, Jesus lived out completely different truths. He often warned his followers not to participate in a political method of bringing God’s kingdom.

Even though Jesus was crucified by the Romans forty years before the first Jewish Revolt, he understood the decision the Jews would have to make concerning their Messiah: They would either accept Jesus as their spiritual Messiah or they would reject him and seek military salvation from the Romans in violent ways.

Recognizing his people’s patriotism, anger against the Romans, and desire for freedom, Jesus didn’t call attention to his power. In fact, he frequently commanded the people he taught or healed not to tell anyone what he had done for them. Most likely he gave these instructions so that people would not misunderstand his role in light of the growing nationalistic climate.

Even so, many people saw in Jesus a Davidic King, a military conqueror who would rescue them from the Romans. And in their nationalistic fervor, many of these same people later revolted against Rome.

Jesus predicted the destruction that would result from the Jewish Revolts (Matt. 24:1-2). And his knowledge led him to weep as he described what would happen (Luke 19:41-44). While many of his fellow Jews looked for a political messiah, they missed the message of the true Messiah, the Lamb of God who gave real peace by taking away the sins of the world.

The message of Jesus the Messiah remains relevant in our own troubled world: He alone is God’s hope of peace (Luke 2:14).


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