In The Original Revolution, Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder argues that Jesus created a revolutionary society around himself that had three characteristics: (1) voluntary association, (2) mixed racial, economic, and religious composition, and (3) newness of life. The last characteristic is described below.
When He called His society together Jesus gave its members a new way of life to live. He gave them a new way to deal with offenders — by forgiving them. He gave them a new way to deal with violence — by suffering. He gave them a new way to deal with money — by sharing sharing it. He gave them a new way to deal with the problems of leadership — by drawing on the gift of every member, even the most humble. He gave them a new way to deal with a corrupt society — by building a new social order, not smashing the old. He gave them a new pattern of relationships between man and woman, between parent and child, between master and slave, in which he made concrete a radical new vision of what it means to be a human person. He gave them a new attitude toward the state and toward the “enemy nation.” At the heart of this novelty is what Jesus did about the fundamental human temptation: power.