Simon was, at one time, a member of the political party called The Zealots. The Zealots were a feared outlaw, political sect. In modern terms, he was basically part of a terrorist party. Bearing the title of “the Zealot” his entire life suggests that he still had a fiery, zealous, intense temperament. Josephus, a historian at the time of Jesus, wrote that there were four parties in politics: the Pharisees, the Sadducees (religious liberals denying the Supernatural), the Essenes (monk-like), and the Zealots. Zealots hated the Romans and their goal was to overthrow the Roman government at Rome. They were extremists that would assassinate Roman soldiers, among other acts of violence. They were violent and militant outlaws. They believed the Messiah was going to be a literal savior from the Romans (violently) and then rule Israel. They thought paying tribute (taxes) to a foreign king (Caesar) was treason to God. He was also paired with Judas Iscariot when disciples did ministry probably because they had similar political views. Simon the Zealot was a disciple chosen by Jesus Christ, intentionally, not accidentally. Though he’s calling is not specifically mentioned in scripture, it would be okay to assume that it was radical for him to believe in Jesus, a non-violent Savior. Simon’s fiery passion was redirected, by Jesus, which was expressed through spreading the Gospel to the world. He took the Gospel message to the British Isles and died there a martyr, although, there is no accurate record of his death.
Think someone is too far gone from grace? Think someone doesn’t deserve Jesus’ love? Jesus gives his forgiveness to anyone, no matter what their past.