“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very centre of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
atheist historian H.G. Wells
Through a power surge of influence that knocked the socio / religious / economic and political world off it axis, Jesus wanted you know about Him and the Kingdom He came to represent. And indeed that's what happened.
When Jesus came to earth to tell about the radical social change that was God's Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven, He wanted the whole world to know about it. So He chose as His messengers those people in whom this radical change would be the most visible: mostly the poor, the outcast, those on the fringes of society, those rejected by “good society” but in some cases the most visible change occurred in those who already considered themselves good people, even holy - the religious leaders.
“The doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, which was the main teaching of Jesus, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that ever stirred and changed human thought.”
atheist historian, H.G. Wells
Jesus took it to the streets and lived a Kingdom life; one of peace, and forgiveness and mercy – toward His enemies. He showed complete disdain for wealth and riches. He showed contempt for power. Pride and possessions, looks and intellectual accomplishment were ridiculed by Jesus. Jesus turned His back on nearly everything that most people consider indispensable for a “good” life.
And when His followers showed that we really can live this counter-cultural life and live it abundantly, His message went viral.
Jesus gets billions of hits, not just daily, but throughout each and every day.
In North America, many who self-identify as Christians are so culturally identical to the society around them, where Jesus is merely worn as an accessory to their worldly life-style, that Jesus is rarely recognized, and when He is acknowledged, it is often as the butt of jokes and ridicule. For example, in this video Bill Maher describes much of Christianity in North America today:
Yet, where ever a demonstration of God's Kingdom in action is being lived out, still by small bands of misfits, Jesus changes history.
The indwelling of His Spirit leads each Christian (“You will know them by how they speak and act” Jesus), to carry on that challenge. To feed the hungry, to end oppression and discrimination, to enrich the poor, to take care of orphans and widows, to clothe the naked, to heal the sick and to bring the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation to the world.
As atheists and functional atheists know today regarding followers of Jesus, those in power then (the religious elite), also knew,
“It's either the death of Jesus and His message, or the end of society as we know it.”
Then as now, Christianity and the teaching of Jesus that is its source must be done away with if the pleasures of this world are to be maintained.
If you're interested in the difference between a true historian (eg. H.G. Wells) and a typical “brute beast” atheist (as G.K. would call him), check out the video at: