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The Love Revolution

Series: The Church and Politics


Jesus gave us the greatest command, to love. This verb began a revolution that changed the world. Do not elevate being a law-abiding citizen or even a patriotic American over that of being a Jesus follower. Being an apprentice of Jesus is about more than your civic duty and place of birth.

Speaker: Josh Stelly

May 5, 2024

Josh Stelly

Lead Pastor

Sermon Notes

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Follow Along with the Message

Central Text: Mark 15:1–15 (NLT)

Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

-- Mark 15:1-2 (NLT)

They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him.

--Mark 12:14-17 (NIV)

Jesus had two polarizing groups during his day…

  • The Essenes who said withdraw and don’t be involved politically. Just come out, separate and be holy.
  • The Zealots who said that we must take back power and rule in God’s name. We advance God’s kingdom through politics and the instruments of this word.
  • Jesus doesn’t want us to withdraw, but on other hand Jesus doesn’t want us to demand our way and think that we are called to ultimate political power. That is how Rome operated.

Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.

--Mark 15:3-5 (NLT)

Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual.
“Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

--Mark 15:6-12 (NLT)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

--John 13:34 (NIV)

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

--Mark 15:13 (NLT)

“The cross was a political symbol long before it became a religious symbol. Pilate knew, the crowds knew, the chief priests knew, and Jesus knew, what it meant. It was the ultimate symbol of Roman power. It said, ‘We are in charge here, and this is what happens to people who get in our way.’ They had crucified thousands of rebel Jews when Jesus was a boy in Galilee. They would crucify thousands more when they took Jerusalem in AD 70 – so many that they got bored…”

-- Theologian N.T. Write

  • What does God want to redeem in our current society that has been used as a political weapon?
  • How is God calling you to serve in way that is sacrificial?

“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

--Mark 15:14-15 (NLT)

Love one another, even if you don’t agree with one another.

  • Jesus’s brand of love is visible and active.
  • ‌The love of Jesus looks, acts, sounds like, and reacts like Jesus.
  • ‌It is gracious, kind, patient, honest, direct, yet compassionate.
  • ‌It leans in rather than pushes away.
  • ‌You don’t have to agree with me to love me or serve beside me.
  • ‌We can disagree politically and love

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

--John 13:34–35 (NIV)

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

--Galatians  6:2 (NLT)

Jesus new covenant command serves as the  between our .

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” 15 Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

--Philippians 2:14–15 (NIV)


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