Following Jesus 48

As we examine the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, we now examine the third group of four. Following James the Less and Judas Labbaeus Thaddaeus, we continue with the disciple known as Simon the Zealot. What do we know about this follower of Jesus? 
Simon the Zealot is first mentioned in Matthew 10:4 as Simon the Canaanite. The title comes from the Hebrew word qanna meaning “to be jealous or zealous. It was a title given to those who were zealous for the Law of God.
In Luke 6:15, Simon is called Zelotes. It is the Greek word for jealous or zealous. Simon’s title from Luke 6:15 may identify Simon with a political group in Israel at that time called the Zealots. They were fiery and passionate people who hated Rome and sought to remove Rome from Judea. 
The Zealots were one of four groups existing in Judea at that time. They included (1) the Pharisees; (2) the Sadducees; and the (3) Essenes. 
The Zealots plundered, murdered, burned, looted and were involved in every kind to terrorist activity they could inflict against Rome and Rome’s followers. Rome finally put an end to most of the havoc the Zealots caused by 70 A.D. Following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Zealots came under the leadership of Eleazar. They had a retreat known as Masada. Not wanting to be taken captive by the Romans who built a ramp to reach the top of the plateau, the Zealots committed mass suicide. 960 died. 
For Simon to attach himself to this group of people, he must have been fervently patriotic. Perhaps Simon, Thaddeus and Judas Iscariot both shared the same political views. However, Thaddeus and Simon were believers in Jesus and Judas Iscariot was not. 
Imagine what it must have been like for Simon and Matthew to get along. One hated Rome and the other had worked for Rome. 
Sometimes we have to overlook different political views among fellow believers as we serve and follow Jesus. 

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