Journey to Rediscover Jesus Day 8: Jesus Was a Radical

We have lived in our neighborhood for almost 20 years. It was brand new when we moved in and we bought one of the last houses built. During this time we’ve seen many people come and go as our neighbors have moved on to bigger and better things. There are very few of us who are “originals” within the neighborhood.

It used to be that we weren’t quite so different from everyone else and that we weren’t judged so harshly, but as times have changed and house keys have transferred from one family to another we seem to stick out more and more. Back in those earlier days we only had a couple of kids (we moved in 9 days before our 3rd child was born), we were much younger than we are now, we had just started homeschooling, no one really questioned us about our faith, and Mike didn’t have a take home police car to sit in front of our house. We blended in and our neighbors didn’t take notice of us too much. Everyone was busy with their own lives. We have always tried to live a very quiet life- one that doesn’t bother anyone else- but as the years slip by and the neighborhood continues to change it seems we have become the “radical” ones within our neighborhood- our family size, our morals, Mike’s job, our faith, and homeschooling have made us the targets for people’s hate and contempt. It’s been hard living where you are considered so different.

Chapter 8: Jesus Was a Radical

Our chapter today tells us that Jesus was deliberately radical. He wanted to get to the “root” of things. He knew what He was teaching was different and new and would change lives. He also knew that people needed the truth and that by telling the truth He would not be well-liked. He called those who would hear His message to listen and then follow the truth He was teaching.

I think about how difficult following the Truth can be for us. We risk judgment and ridicule. We know that it can mean we lose out on friends and sometimes even family. It might make us stick out like a sore thumb even within our own neighborhoods. But, it is so important that Jesus tells us that in order to follow Him we have to live our lives in the truth. We have to choose to live radically and do so purposefully.

The word embrace stuck out to me in this chapter. Christ calls us to embrace His teachings. Matthew Kelly says that if we embrace even one of those teachings wholeheartedly then those around us are bound to think we are crazy- that we are taking our faith too far. I only have to think about my family size to know that this is true. Oh the comments we get from family, friends, neighbors, and strangers alike! Some are beautiful comments and we are very thankful for the ones who can see God within the faces of our children, but many { and for a while most comments} are negative. Our trust in God’s help to determine our family size and our use of Natural Family Planning has always been considered radical and ridiculous by many people.

Point to Ponder: Ask Jesus to help you get to the root of the things in your life. Ask him to help you embrace the truth.

Where there are many areas that are easier for me to embrace God’s truth, in other areas it is difficult. Still, we are asked to trust Him in all areas of our lives. One way I need to imitate Christ more is in His radical love. At the heart of all His teachings is love. We are called to radical love and right now I am struggling with that regarding certain people in my life. I need to allow Him to get to the root of my struggle and to ask Him to open my heart to this type of love.

Verse to Live: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

Wow! Imagine if we all thought and acted as Christ does! Our world would be vastly different! As Christians we are called to imitate Christ in everything; the question is- do we? There are definitely areas that I need to work on to be the same mind as Christ.

Question to Consider: When was the last time you had the courage to seek out the root of an important issue?

This is very recent for me as we struggle to help our son through some major issues in his life. I have asked God to show me where my own faults may lie within the situation. I have asked if there was anything I could have done differently and what can I do now that will help him in the best manner possible. I have also asked that God allow me to see my son clearly- to see where his faults lie but also to guide me so that I don’t assume fault or wrongly apply fault to him. It has been a difficult journey.

Your Turn: How do you live your life in a radical way? Is it difficult to do? Do you live your faith radically? How can you change your life so that you do?

Prayer: Jesus, point me toward the root of things and give me an extra nudge when I am tempted to settle for the shallow and the superficial.

Help me to follow your lead and live my life in radical faith and love. Strengthen me when times are tough and when it feels easier to walk with the world instead of you. Amen.

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