Sometimes I read people suggesting that Jesus was a rebel during his time walking the earth. He was countercultural, it is true — questioning those in powerful positions, rebuking the religious leaders, overturning money-changers’ tables in the temple…
But Jesus was not a rebel, not even close.
Rebels rebel against authority, but Jesus was not rebelling against authority any more than a king who overrides the decision of one of the local governors under his command is rebelling against that governor. Rather, Jesus submitted to the will of his Father in everything, and he came with the authority given him by the Father, but they rejected him. The lesser authorities refused to submit to the greater authority — they were the ones who were rebelling, not Jesus!
I think this point has bearing on how we live today. A disciple becomes like his master, and if we believe we’re following a rebel, we’ll more easily fall into rebellion (they already lean that way, do they not?) We must realize that the Lamb we follow submitted — even to being slain — out of obedience to the good will of his Father, and pray for grace to follow that same road of joyful obedience to the Father and to the authorities he’s placed over us for his glory and our good!