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By my understanding, the Zealots (or Canaanites) were a Jewish group dedicated to the overthrow or expulsion (by violence if necessary) of the Roman government that controlled Israel during Jesus' earthly life as part of its extensive empire. Jesus had such an individual among his apostles (Simon the Canaanite), but He Himself did not espouse the group's principles. (In fact, I have always found it remarkable that Jesus was able to form such a cohesive group of followers when some of its members would normally have been enemies (and, in some cases, bitter enemies), such as Simon the Zealot, and Matthew the tax collector (both mentioned in Mark 3:18, Luke 12:15, and Acts 1:13) whom Simon would have strongly opposed because of viewing Matthew as a functionary of the Roman authorities who helped the Romans to collect taxes from the people of Israel.) The fact that Jesus Himself was not a Zealot was indicated by actions such as His refusal to fall into the Pharisees' and Herodians' trap of saying that the people should not pay the taxes imposed by Caesar (Matthew 22:15-22), and His consistent denunciation of violence as a means of achieving objectives (as in Matthew 5:38-41). Jesus' mission and aims were spiritual, not political.
As Tim rightly pointed out that we need not bother about the political situation prevailed at Jesus’ time. We should only focus on the spiritual aspects and salvation.& Our Christ Jesus is peacemaker and not revolutionary. He proclaimed a message of repentance and social solidarity similar to that of prophets before Him. Jesus declared that the way to the kingdom was the way of peace the way of love and the way of the cross. Jesus launched a spiritual movement to transform the world through acts of mercy and forgiveness.
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