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April 18, 2011

Simon the Zealot on the night Jesus was betrayed

by Dave Malnes

When the disciples dispersed after the Lord’s Supper in the Upper Room, I wonder what each of the disciples were thinking from the words expressed by Jesus.  Perhaps, Simon the Zealot, would have said the following;

“I had such dreams.  Dreams of a better life.  Living in a free land no longer under Roman rule.  That someday we could be a great nation again.  That God would bless us again as in the days of David and Solomon — living in the Promised land God first revealed to our father Abraham.  This is my hope.  This is what I long for.

In my mind, I thought that the only way to end Roman tyranny is by force.  I thought God needed my sword and my shield to conquer the enemy.  But being with Jesus these past few years, he has revealed something different.  Instead of directing anger at the Romans for enslaving his people and organizing a revolt, Jesus has directed his anger to what enslaves us spiritually – our sins – and to the synagogue rulers who say we can only be right with God by following hundreds of commands and laws.

I am baffled, because I have been confronted with one very important question.  And the question is not just who is Jesus – but why?  Is he the Messiah that I plead for every day to establish a kingdom on earth or is he the Savior – who promises another kingdom far-greater than I could ever imagine.  A kingdom received not by birthright, but the forgiveness of sins.

With nights like this… the words of Jesus expressed tonight… I confess I struggle.  My head tells me one thing and my heart another.  My head wants Jesus to be the new King of Israel and reign in all his majesty, but my heart… my heart says that Jesus is more than just a conqueror.  Jesus is working out everything for our good, for a purpose that I can’t yet begin to comprehend.  And it is driven by his great love that he has for us — a love that I’ve seen first-hand.  If Jesus can change my heart, the heart of Simon the Zealot, than he is the Son of the Living God.”

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