In a post by Episcopal Priest, David R. Henson on Patheos, he points out that Jesus wasn’t really a “radical.” At least not as we tend to understand the word in today’s culture. He makes the insightful case that Jesus was actually quite level headed, and perhaps it’s us who are radicals if we aren’t doing as Jesus did. In the post David says the following:
What if love of neighbor isn’t radical?
What if the call to share both wealth and food isn’t radical?
What if it’s everything else that’s actually radical?
Think about it.
Not sharing food with those who are hungry is a radical position.
Not offering shelter to those experiencing homelessness is a radical position.
Not welcoming the desperate refugee is a radical position.
Not accepting ethnicities, genders, or sexualities just because they are different than your own is a radical position.
Not liberating those imprisoned is a radical position.
Not visiting the sick, the lonely, and the rejected is a radical position.
Not seeking a leveling of power and the empowering of the marginalized is a radical position.
Not loving others is the most radical position of all.
Letting fellow humans go hungry, without shelter, refuge, and dignity might be disturbingly common in our world, but it’s also radical. Because any belief or action that denies, distorts, or brutalizes the humanity of others is the perspective of a radical extremist.
It’s often said Jesus was executed because he was a radical. I think we’ve got it backwards. The Romans executed Jesus because they were radical, not because he was. Killing people is always a radical act. We do both Jesus and humanity a disservice when we use selfishness and bigotry to define what’s normal and use generosity and love to define what’s radical.
Jesus wasn’t radical.
We who refuse to love, to seek liberation, and to be fully human.
That is most certainly a portrait of Jesus, and reality, that is worth hanging on to.
Check out the 9 Guidelines of Jesism