Jesus was a revolutionary.


Is this guy above Jesus? No, obviously not. However, in searching for an image for this blog entry using the terms ‘revolutionary fighter’ I found this guy out there on the internet. I thought actually that he could be a revolutionary, a Jesus. He just looks like one. The link took me to an obituary for this guy. His name is Matt. He died just short of his 19th birthday, in Harlem, New York. He was shot in the back by another youth. Reading his obituary I was struck by the passion he had for fighting injustice, by his zeal for action and his desire to mobilize others against injustice. Here are some words from his friends;

Although he had lived almost 19 years (his birthday is November 22), Matthew Hall had done so much with the time he had. I met him when he was about 14 years old through Act Your Rage–the only free politically conscious open mic for youth–organized by the youth of Refuse & Resist!. It was a rare kind of space where youth of all different nationalities, from all over the city, got together to spit rhymes, sing songs, recite poetry–where youth got to speak out and be heard and fuse all this with radical politics. It was here that many people got to know Matt and where he became an organizer for the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality and the struggle to free political prisoner Mumia Abu- Jamal.

Easily thousands in his generation and beyond–in activist circles or the underground hip-hop community–knew him and what he stood for. Then with his death, the whole city started talking about him. He was on the front page of several newspapers and for over a week there continued to be articles about the positive impact Matt’s life had on people.

He really spent the time to understand his friends, including those he sometimes disagreed with. And Matt had such a wide range of friends, from different nationalities, religions, politics, etc., that none of them agreed all the time. He made people feel welcomed and appreciated when he was with them.

Very fine words about this young man.

Many have been written about Jesus too. Unfortunately over 2000 years the central meaning of Jesus has been lost I think. Essentially Jesus was a revolutionary, a person who had vision, who hated injustice, who acted on his beliefs, who wasn’t afraid to take on the powerful and the brutal regimes of the time.

As we all pass our presents around the tree this Christmas and over-fill our tummies with rich food, it wouldn’t hurt to remember that there are literally billions of others out there suffering daily. Not only do we need people like Matthew Hall and Jesus doing their bit to fight injustices. We also need to do our bit too, no matter how big or small.

Merry Christmas 🙂

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6 Responses to Jesus was a revolutionary.

  1. earthpal says:

    Beautifully said Matt. Thanks. I totally agree.

    An inspiring post about an exceptional guy.

    Merry Christmas to all you guys here. I’ve been having internet problems which probably won’t get sorted until after the holiday so I will catch up with your blog then, ok.

    Have fun and take

  2. matt says:

    Cheers earthpal. Have a relaxing break …. internet free!

  3. Do you know the song, “The Rebel Jesus” by Jackson Brown?

    Love your blog !

  4. matt says:

    Cheers Philip.

    No I don’t but I’ll look out for it.

    Merry Xmas!

  5. All the streets are filled with laughter and light
    And the music of the season
    And the merchants’ windows are all bright
    With the faces of the children
    And the families hurrying to their homes
    While the sky darkens and freezes
    Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
    Giving thanks for God’s graces
    And the birth of the rebel Jesus

    Well they call him by ‘the Prince of Peace’
    And they call him by ‘the Savior’
    And they pray to him upon the seas
    And in every bold endeavor
    And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
    While their faith in him increases
    But they’ve turned the nature that I worship in
    From a temple to a robber’s den
    In the words of the rebel Jesus

    Well we guard our world with locks and guns
    And we guard our fine possessions
    And once a year when Christmas comes
    We give to our relations
    And perhaps we give a little to the poor
    If the generosity should seize us
    But if any one of us should interfere
    In the business of why there are poor
    They get the same as the rebel Jesus

    Now pardon me if I have seemed
    To take the tone of judgement
    For I’ve no wish to come between
    This day and your enjoyment
    In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
    There’s a need for anything that frees us
    So I bid you pleasure
    And I bid you cheer
    From a heathen and a pagan
    On the side of the rebel Jesus

    There’s a great recording on “The Bells of Dublin” by the Chieftains

  6. matt says:

    Great words. Thanks Philip. Particularly like the words at the end of the 2nd verse and all of the 3rd. 🙂

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