The Seeds of Revolt

The Seeds
After the Romans began their occupation of Judea in 64 BC, the Jews became divided on how to respond.

The religious leaders, particularly the Pharisees, believed the Messiah would come from the Jewish people and make Israel a great, free nation. They condemned Rome’s access and viewed Romans as oppressors punishing God’s people for their unfaithfulness to the Torah.

The Sadducees and secular leaders decided to cooperate with the Romans, who gave them various special privileges (John 11:49-50).

The Zealots proclaimed revolution to be God’s solution to Roman oppression (Acts 5:37).

The Essenes waited for the Messiah to lead a violent overthrow of the Romans and their Jewish supporters, while the Herodions (nonreligious Jews who supported Herod) were completely satisfied with Herod’s dynasty (Matt. 22:16).

The Sparks
The Jews were motivated to revolt by a number of different factors. After Herod Agrippa I died, the Romans appointed a series of increasingly cruel, corrupt governors to rule over the Jews, causing confusion, hatred, and division.

The paganism of Rome’s culture offended the Jews, and the Jewish priests, who became more dependent on Roman security and support, became more corrupt. Priests and their followers also began fighting each other in the streets.

During feast days, especially Passover, nationalistic tensions escalated, causing Rome to increase its military presence. Wanting to serve God in their own way, the Jews longed for freedom.

Although Jesus warned his followers not to participate in military methods of bringing his kingdom, some Jewish people decided to seek out salvation through political and military might. Their actions brought about the Jewish Revolts and ultimately led to their destruction.


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