Was Jesus a Rabble Rouser? 2015-114
First off, WHAT is a rabble rouser? Hmmmm, let’s see! This may not be the best word to use, but I am anyhow. Bill O’Reilly used this word in his book “Killing Jesus” and he said it represented Jesus who disturbed the peace and challenged the authorities in His time. Sounds good!!!!
It is said that the word originated between 1825 to 1845 and the term was first used to describe Abe Lincoln, but not sure if that is a fact or not. It does have a definition as a person who manipulates the passions of the mob; and is a demagogue.
Rabble is a term for the lower classes or common people and Marie Antoinette was referring to them when she said, “Let them eat cake”. The original term rabble was coined about 1655-65 and pertained to shifting hot coals, or “churned up” and that is where the rabble comes from using the French word “raable”, a fire shovel tool. The rouser was pertaining to the stirring up or inciting strong indignation or anger. OK, nuff of history; “Was Jesus a rabble rouser?”
I don’t think He thought He was such, but don’t know of course. He had his way of doing things. The written account of His turning over the tables of the money lenders/changers is a vivid story of when he ticked people off with His actions. He was careful though in some of his dealings with the authorities, namely the High Priests of the Hebrew faith. They were out to get Him and tried to lure Him into saying things they wanted to hear so they could “take care of Him, in a not so nice way”. They could then arrest Him and put Him to death. They were such lovely religious people of His time; NOT!!!
It is my thoughts that Jesus KNEW what He was doing and what affect it would have on the people listening to Him. I would think that, after a while, He would EXPECT a reaction from those around Him and that might have spurred Him on. His actions of performing miracles would have the same consequence and would add to the following He was having. People would have heard about the acts, and sought Him out to experience the events.
I went to a Rob Bell presentation in Cleveland, in August of 2015, and there were people that could be considered his ardent followers which were in the audience. I think the average age could have been early forties, which was amazing to me. There were older folks too, but many younger people were there listening to every word he said. His presentation was fine, but not what I expected.
The same with Jesus way back in His time. The followers would have gone and be listening to every word that was said and take back to their tribe, what they experienced, creating more followers that just HAD to hear and see Him. The fact that He might have said things that made Him a rabble rouser in their minds might have helped Him then. Rome was not a popular domineering faction and they wanted someone to hopefully go against the Roman law.
Jesus knew the Hebrew laws of Moses. He used the laws to help Him make a point in His parables and other teachings to those that followed Him. Most people knew the laws too, and knew what He said was in keeping with the Laws. That probably helped Him be accepted in many places and in this acceptance; he was in keeping with the “old laws” of long ago in the minds of those listening. Jesus was not dumb and He became the authority to those hearing the very words they grew up with listening to the Rabbis of their time.
Was He a rabble rouser? To the Roman contingent – YES. To the religious leaders – YES. To the people that followed Him – MAYBE. To the Disciples that were with Him – MAYBE or MAYBE NOT. Everyone then, probably had their opinions about Jesus based on how they perceived Him and how He came across to them.
Do I think He was one – PROBABLY. Is that bad in my mind – NO!