A Thought On Jesus Revolution

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  • John 14:15-27

I reluctantly took my wife to see Jesus Revolution.  Okay, I felt reluctant until I read a few reviews.  I had seen some things on television, in passing, and it was portrayed that Jesus returns in the flesh to a small town in California and nothing is ever the same.  That “advertisement” is so misleading.  It’s the story of the birth of the Jesus Movement.  The Holy Spirit is not confined to one place.  Not in Costa Mesa, CA in the early 70s, and not at Asbury University recently.  I met Jesus in a small town in Mississippi because the Holy Spirit poured out onto those that were seeking answers.  I thought I had the answers until I saw people who were on fire for Jesus.

So, with my background, I went to the movie.  The story is about three people.  I would say three men, but Greg Laurie was a teenager at the time.  The other two were Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Smith.

Rev. Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammar) had a church that was failing.  He thought hippies were filthy and all drug addicts.  When he invited hippies into the church, the elders did not like it, but Chuck stayed with his convictions and the Jesus Movement seemed to center around his church.

Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie) was that first hippie Chuck invited.  Frisbee was walking from San Francisco toward LA.  He was spreading the word that Jesus was what the hippies were looking for.  They just didn’t know it yet.  Odd, one of the statements that you can find online from the mouth of the real Frisbee was that people thought he looked like Jesus and who better to look like, or words to that effect.  The oddity is that Jonathan Roumie also plays Jesus in the hit series, The Chosen.  I guess that was their inside joke.

Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), the focal character, is a teenager looking for something.  He finds a girlfriend, Kathe.  After some miss turns and some drug use, Kathe finds Chuck Smith’s church.  She tries to drag Laurie into the church, but he resists.  They eventually both get baptized in Pirate’s Cove near Avila Beach, California.  He then creates a tract that Chuck Smith gets printed called Living Water.

But, oh, how those three have led thousands to Christ.  God can use broken people.  He is the Great Healer.  He can heal that brokenness.

The movie shows the imperfections of the three men and the women in their lives.  Chuck was reluctant in inviting a hippie to church.  Lonnie became, and maybe always was, paranoid.  And Greg was a young kid trying to make sense out of life and lashing out since it seemed everything that is good always leaves him.

My wife’s favorite part of the movie was – SPOILER ALERT – the scene when the car would not crank, and Lonnie got the hippies together and they laid hands on the car and prayed. It was her favorite scene because the car we kept until we nearly had a quarter million miles on it was falling apart and her prayers must have worked. We made it home that day. Near the end, the car did not like hot weather. Temperatures in the nineties and the accelerator would get stuck on full speed ahead. It was nearly 100 that day, and we got home with no problems due to her prayers.

One of the things that my wife and I noticed was the use of “my church” instead of “our church.”  Frisbee especially refers to “I” and “me” a lot.  It is hard to separate what you are doing with what God is doing through you.  If it gets to be too much of “me,” it will fail, and the partnership between Chuck and Lonnie ended.  I teach a Sunday school class, but I still refer to it as my predecessor’s class.  I am just holding down the fort until he returns.  But he passed to the Lord three years ago.

And as for this blog, I constantly fight myself in saying “my”.  It was God’s idea, so it should be God’s blog and I just upload what I feel God is pressing on my heart for that day.

When we leave this earth, we take nothing with us except for our love of Jesus (if we have that).  So, how can I claim anything is truly mine?

But I think two statements that my wife made sum the movie up in a wonderful way.  Another oddity, near the end of the movie, kids from Texas show up and want to be baptized in Pirate’s Cove.  My wife was trying to find herself in southern California after she got out of the Air Force about that same time.

My wife’s comment upon leaving the theater: “I missed it.  I was right there, and I missed it.  You found Jesus over a thousand miles away about that same time, but I missed it.”

My wife’s second comment, the morning after the movie:  “You know what I think of the movie yesterday?  I think that if you have experienced the Holy Spirit in your life, the movie means everything.  If you have never experienced the Holy Spirit, it’s just a feel-good movie.”

You have a couple of decisions to make.  You can watch the movie or not.  But if you watch the movie, will the movie have great meaning to you?  Will it be just a feel-good movie?  Or will it become the movie that means everything somewhere during the movie?

As most of my A Thought On … posts, I provide the thought and let you finish the story.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. atimetoshare.me March 24, 2023 — 10:21 am

    Mark, I’ve been trying to come up with words of comfort for you in this time of loss. There are none. Still, in my litany of poetry I happened to find one that might help in some small way.
    When fears and worries are so real,
    We sometimes wonder why we feel,
    The pangs of deep depression.
    The weight’s extreme – we lose all hope,
    Our hearts grow sad – for strength we grope,
    To lighten this progression.
    We look within and try to cope
    There are no answers in our scope
    It now becomes oppression.
    We try so hard to rise above,
    We search in vain for any love.
    To deal with this obsession.
    We cannot do it on our own,
    We need one advocate alone,
    To bring our full confession.
    God takes our hand and leads us out,
    Relieves our pain – our fear – our doubt.
    He is our best possession.
    God’s love is great – it sees us through
    When there is nothing we can do.
    Our words hold no expression.
    He lifts us from the pit of death.
    He died for us to give us breath.
    He paid for our transgression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kathy. I am doing okay now. I know God is with me. I know my wife is in a good place with no more pain, but as many have said it is a process. It takes time. My wife and I were to host the prayer team meeting, and I am still doing what she had planned. And Sunday school this Sunday may be difficult. I just have to work through it.

      Liked by 1 person

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