If you wanted to be a radical that really wanted to change things, whether it be in your church or community or even the world, what steps would you begin to take?
Would you start a blog to refute ‘fake news’ or what you consider to be ‘fake news?’
Would you grab a sign and join in with others to form a protest march?
Would you become politically active to support the candidates that share your views of how the world should function?
Jesus gave some radical ideas from this reading out of Luke. The type of ideas that are guaranteed to get push back. Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” But if we do this, who will we hate? Who will we demonize and use to scare others into following our political views?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a wimpy idea. How are we ever going to end up on top if we are looking out for the benefit of others?
Jesus said, “Do not judge.” This is ridiculous. How are we ever going to feel superior to others if we don’t judge them as lesser? How can we justify the lousy ways we treat others if we don’t first judge them worthy of such treatment? How can we be confident of our salvation if we don’t judge other certain for damnation?
Jesus’ words in Luke seem so ridiculous. They are too far out on the fringe. They are too radical to be taken seriously in the world and how it works. This is precisely the point. Jesus is speaking about the reign and the coming rule of the kingdom of God. The ways of God require the endless cycle of hate and abuse and manipulation, etc come to an end. Jesus didn’t come to bless what we bless but came to redeem and make all things new in the resurrection.
So Jesus is inviting us to be radicals for the kingdom of God. It sounds impossible but he isn’t let us off the hook. If we long and hunger for the reign of God to be over us, then we need to be Jesus kind of radicals. In the end we are promised that life will be known that is truly overflowing. The measure of life we grant to others is the measure of life we’ll receive in return.