Yesterday a mob descended on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Likely organized by less volatile minds, the madness of crowds took hold and this protest quickly turn into an armed riot. One government official labelled it insurrection, a violent attempt to overthrow the government. Like most insurrectionists, they surprised many, even their allies.
Fittingly that I would turn to Matthew 12 today, a read of another insurrectionist.
“Aware of [the plot to kill him], Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
…He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.”
Matthew 12:15-17, 19.
Matthew is well aware that he is part of a revolution. In a few short years after the penning of his gospel, Christians will begin laying down their lives in Rome for their allegiance to Jesus. But the insurrectionist Jesus defies our expectations.
He does not seek power. He actively avoids public aggrandizement. He is silent in self defense. He trains simple people, fisherman, to lead his cause. He preaches love, peace and forgiveness.
He eschews all the normal means by which people seek power and liberty, self-determination and control. And the ripples of his life and words will continue to change the course of world events long after the rioters of yesterday disappear from the footnotes of history.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”