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SIMON THE ZEALOT
Jesus Christ called a cosmopolitan group to follow Him as apostles.
Among them was a highly unlikely member of a fanatical fringe
group of rebels known as Zealots.
Little is known about Simon the Zealot specifically. His political
affiliation tells us a lot about him. The Zealots were zealous to
overthrow the Roman army occupying their country. Members of
the Zealot group were mostly a coalition of lower priests, Jerusalem
insurgents, and refugee bandit groups from the countryside
dedicated to the overthrow of the Roman rule. These individuals
would resort to any means whatsoever to assert themselves and try
to drive the Romans from their land.
They set up their headquarters in the temple and established an
alternative egalitarian government.
He was one of two Simons who were apostles. Simon Peter, the
unofficial spokesman of the group, had a high profile. Simon the
Zealot is highly obscure.
The miracle of what following Jesus does is seen by the diversity in
the group. Matthew the tax collector, a publican, worked for the
Romans. Tax collectors did all they could to appease and placate
the Romans. Their lucrative profession was dependent upon
satisfying the Romans. They would do anything to avoid disrupting
the status quo.
Simon the Zealot was a member of the revolutionary group that
took over Jerusalem and led to the revolt resulting in the Romans
destroying Jerusalem. Zealots were fanatical idealists who led the
guerilla warfare against the Romans.
There were these two extremes in the group. One dedicated to
appeasing the Romans and the other zealous to overthrow them.
In Christ they mutually found a higher purpose in life. In Christ
these two opposites became compatible. "Love one another," was
a mandate Christ doubtlessly shared frequently.
If Simon had met Matthew under different circumstances he would
likely have killed him.
What attra ...
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