Jesus the Trouble-Maker
Galilee and Judea were a fireworks warehouse and Jesus was a flame-thrower.
From one perspective, Jesus was a trouble-maker. For the "don't rock the boat" crowd, Jesus danced in the canoe. What is a trouble-maker?
Anyone who instigates change will be viewed as a trouble-maker. Anyone who questions the way things are because of a vision of the way things can be will be called a trouble-maker. Anyone who knows "the pecking order," but does not peck or allow his followers to peck in their proper places will be called a trouble-maker. Anyone who knows where the boundaries are and then lives like he doesn't care where the boundaries are will be called a trouble-maker. Anyone who is not threatened by the powers that be will be viewed as a trouble-maker.
Gandhi was a trouble-maker. So were Rosa Parks, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Ignaz Semmelweiss, and Erin Brockovich.
Jesus was a destabilizing reality. He, in the shadow of Jeremiah, came "to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow" (Jeremiah 1:10). Some even thought Jesus was Jeremiah (see Matthew 16:14).
One of my favorite teachers, "Prof" Howard Hendricks, use to say, "All true learning takes place only after you are thoroughly confused." Trouble-makers confuse us and, in that sense, serve us. We so easily petrify in our views, in what appears to us "to be right."
Have we so sanitized Jesus that it seems sacriligious to us to see him as a trouble-maker? The Roman Empire did not crucify "nice guys." They crucified trouble-makers.