I have a shirt with this saying on it. It’s one of my favorites. The shirt often raises eyebrows and sometimes spurs conversation.
Jesus, in his day, was very counter-culture.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees were two groups that were political rivals. They “ruled” the people. By this time the Law, as was given Moses, had been added to so much by these two groups that people could scarcely live under it.
Jesus came to set the Law right again. He came to fulfill the law.
Jesus very existence was challenging their power. By contrast, Jesus was meek and mild –– until it came to people messing with the Law of God and His people.
Remember when Jesus used a whip in the temple and overturned tables as he drove out those who were selling sacrificial animals and exchanging currency for huge profits?
He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
To be clear, Jesus was not rebellious to get attention or for his fifteen minutes of fame. He was a rebel against the added weight of LAW that was being loaded onto the common peoples backs. He was a Rebel because everything he said or did pointed back to the Father.
Jesus was a rebel against the man-made obstacles to God’s love and transforming power.
Matthew 23 is a chapter dedicated to criticizing the religious leaders of the day. Verse 3 says So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.
This made these two groups furious, enough so to have Jesus killed.
Jesus was a Rebel for God! He restored the original intent of the law and wiped out any individual personal gain from it.
Jesus was a rebel! He died and came back to like in order to build a free bridge back to relationship with God.