"On Being Like the Radical Jesus:"

Photo by dhammza

He was obviously on the edge about something.

"Would I have enough strength to do this?" big boy asked himself for the umpteenth time. Every walloping step he took was like a super-collosal burden; sort of like walking on a bed of hot glowing coals and flinching with every forward movement. Opeyemi Johnson was a burly guy, hence his nickname "big boy." But although he looked as fearless as an undefeated warrior, he still had the softest of hearts. Although he looked like he was submissive to no one, he still bowed down to God each morning before doing anything else. Although he looked like he had no heart, he was usually the first one available when a need arose. He was dedicated to God like a sheep to his master. He was a scholar of sorts and diligent in God's Word.

But today he was very afraid. Afraid that if he told his pastor what he really thought about the church system here he would be rebuked. Should he walk up to the pastor's office and share his radical thoughts? Who was he anyway? Should he speak of change in the midst of conservatism? Should he deliver his out-of-the-ordinary suggestions? Would his opinions even matter or would he be kicked out to the dust? Should he just leave and go back home?

These were the questions plaguing his mind at 6 o'clock in the evening...questions that made each step feel like he was nailing Jesus to the cross over and over again at Calvary. So he stopped prowling and sat down on one of the empty pews to think about his decision once more. Was it really worth it? Maybe he should just be like one of the masses and let the matter rest!


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Radical Moments of Jesus:

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish: Jesus was going into the temple as usual. This time He saw people buying and selling as though the temple were a marketplace (it was probably a regular thing too). But radical Jesus did something about it. He began to drive them out of the temple saying, "It is written, "My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."" Luke 19: 45-46. 

Business With Bad Samaritans: The disparities between the Jews and Samaritans started because of a debate about "the right place to worship God." The Samaritans were descendants of a group of Israelites who had a connection to the Babylonian exile. They claimed that after Moses erected the tabernacle on Mount Gerazim, priest Eli decided to leave the holy Mount Gerazim and erect another tabernacle and illegal priesthood on the hills of Shiloh (Wikipedia). So to them, the Jews had an illegal priesthood and they couldn't do business with them. So they kept to themselves. Turns out that Jesus, the radical Jew, met a Samaritan woman by a well and knowing her origin, he still talked to her and offered her the living water of God (kingdom business). John 4:1-26.

Healing on the Restful Sabbath: According to the Torah, God's people must rest on the seventh day (as in not do anything). Still, radical Jesus healed people on the Sabbath day. It felt like the perfect time to heal to Him, and so He told the lame man to "rise up, take his bed, and walk." John 5:1-15. He also healed another man with dropsy on the Sabbath day (Luke 14: 1-6). 

Walking on Non-Human Territory: Human beings walk on land. We have two legs: we were made for dry ground, and dry ground was made for us. Oh, but radical Jesus chose to walk on water on a certain night because He needed to reach his disciples (they had been waiting for Jesus to return to them after going to a mountain to pray by Himself). He had to get to them somehow, and He wasn't about to wait for another boat- John 6:15-21. 

The only times He was conservative was when it came to the Word of God. He never went against it. Everything else will pass away some day, but the Word of God will never change. It will be here even when you and I are gone. Question for Today: If you identify something wrong in the body of Christ will you be radical enough to do something about it?