Jefferson Bethke Shattering The Empire


Jefferson Bethke Shattering The Empire

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[Jefferson Bethke Shattering The Empire]

[Jefferson Bethke:] Source:
The last two days on the A.D. set here in Morocco, they’ve been filming some intense scenes. Two days ago, they filmed the ‘Stoning of Stephen’, and yesterday was the ‘flogging of the disciples in Acts 4’.

One thing that struck me though when watching these scenes unfold and all their brutality in front of me was why?

Why did this little group of people in the first century [of] Palestine pose such a threat to the Jewish authorities and to the Roman Empire? How did this little tiny movement all of a sudden turned the world upside down.

I doubted it was by preaching our typical western 21st century Gospel. If we were to hop into time machine and go back to the first century and start telling people ‘hey, Jesus died for your sins, if you trust him, you can go to a great special place, really, really far away when you die’. I don’t think we’d be [drugged] before the Roman Government and beaten. In fact that message actually very much lines up with first century Rome.

They were incredibly pluralistic and more or less allowed people to believe what they wanted as long as it didn’t impede on this hero now. And as long as they still ultimately gave allegiance to the state and to Caesar, but early followers of Jesus start going around saying crazy radical things like Jesus is Lord and claiming that that was the Gospel or that was good news. In fact in Acts 17 a mob drags the disciples before the city officials and indites them for turning the world upside down, acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar and saying there was another king named Jesus.

They claimed that this Jewish Rabbi, who was executed by the Roman authorities actually came back to life and is the rightful king of the world and they began acting as if that was true right here, right now. Except unlike Rome, they didn’t use violence and coercion to bring peace, they use love and sacrifice. And that’s why they got beaten and tortured and killed because in the first century it was dangerous, it was subversive to say that Jesus is lord because the minute you say that, you’re also implicitly saying that Caesar is not, you are saying the whole thing is just a facade, he is a puppet, he is a [parody] and its all a sham.

[Jefferson Bethke:] Source:
And on top of that, Jesus followers took away, the biggest tool any empire has ever had in all of history to get obedience, the fear of death because when you’re following the one, who is conquered death himself you become a dangerous person that the empire can’t touch.

And the cross is the biggest example, that the minute they tried to squash you out is actually the minute of victory your love triumphs evil. Søren Kierkegaard once said, the tyrant dies and his rule is over, but when the martyr dies his rule begins. What would it look like if instead of telling people that they can get to heaven when they die, our primary good news was actually that Jesus is lord and king right now, right here and we can offer our life to show that’s true. And this king, he is unlike any other king and that before he asks for your life, he gives you his first. This is the king who’d rather die for his enemies than kill them because the way of Jesus is the way of sacrificial love and the best news in the world is that that Jesus is lord.

Hey guys, thanks for watching. Make sure you check out A.D. on NBC starting on Easter – we got a shoot on set there and it’s incredible. I cannot wait for you guys to see it.

Also I have to have give a huge shout-out to our sponsor Audible. You guys know I love Audible. And I want to recommend specifically this month, ‘Simply Good News’ by NT Wright, a lot of the stuff in this video came from him and came from that book or came from some of the stuff he talks about with that.

[Jefferson Bethke:] Source:
If you go to, you can get your first book free, which I’d recommend that one and you get yours first month for free. It’s incredible. Check it out That’s all I got. I’ll talk to you guys later.

Jefferson Bethke Shattering The Empire

Jefferson Bethke Shattering The Empire

Jefferson Bethke Shattering The Empire. Jesus is lord because the minute you say that, you’re also implicitly saying that Caesar is not. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.

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