Jesus was intensely radical and very normal.
He believed radical things – He was/is God the Son the only way to Heaven, a war rages between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan, He had/has the power to forgive people of their sins, He is coming back to overturn all of creation. These are radical, radical beliefs.
Yet, Jesus was exceedingly normal. He was invited to parties. People wanted to hang out with Him. He did not talk in goofy religious language. Salt of the Earth people like fishermen saw Him as the kind of guy they could hang out with. He was called “a friend of sinners.” At the same time, He could carry Himself in a crowd of scholars. Contrary to pictures, He did not walk around with some kind of illuminated light. In fact, the prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would have “no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” (Isaiah 53:2) In other words you could sit next to Him in a bar and not think He looked like much!
Being radical did not make Jesus socially awkward. It did not make Him weird. It did not make Him talk with funny words. It did not make Him unapproachable or difficult to talk to. He was exceptionally normal.
I am fiercely radical in what I believe. I love Jesus and have surrendered the entirety of my life to Him. If He says it I believe it. I am dialed in, souled out, fired up, given over, and born again. Point a gun to my head and tell me to recant – you might as well pull the trigger. God is plenty capable of taking care of my family. I have been to seminary, know Greek and Hebrew, can defend the veracity of the Bible against any attack, can get into deep weeds on theology, share Jesus regularly, and often travel the world doing mission work.
However, two of the greatest compliments I am given are, “I would never have guessed you are a Pastor,” and “I can’t believe how normal you are.” I love it. I got my Master’s Degree in hanging out from West Springfield High School with Bill, Brian, Roger, Yian, Wheez, and Dres. I got my Doctorate in exceptional normalcy from Virginia Tech and all the boys of Theta Chi – T, Waldo, Beep, Callaghan, Winn, Daniel, Schooley, T. Ralph Wear, and many, many others.
Being radical does not have to make you socially awkward.
Everyone – those who walk with Jesus feeling like they have to fit some mold and those who do not walk with Jesus who believe in the caricatures of Christians – reject the stereotypes! Look to Jesus Himself. Let Jesus teach you how to dig your heels in deeper and relax at the same time. It is possible!
Be fiercely radical, exceptionally normal, and completely full.
Trexo exists to equip disciples of Jesus to make disciples of others leading them to be radically normal. For more information or to schedule a consultation, email Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Friday a lady told me one of the reasons she does not believe in Jesus is because of her experiences with Christians at a young age. It was well known at the church she went to who was cheating on who with who, who was drunk, and who was doing other things. Yet, on Sunday, every one smiled and played nice. Some people in the church convinced her mom that demons were entering their house through the music this lady was listening to. She had all sorts of signed concert paraphernalia in her room – one piece was a Billy Idol autographed record. One day she came home from school to find every poster, record, and signed piece of anything had been burned in the bar-b-q pit in her back yard.
She wanted nothing to do with Jesus. AHHHHHH!!!!
I continue to find the enemy powerfully uses the mistakes of Christians to keep people away from Jesus. (This ladies’ story is very normal.) If you are reading this and you are not a follower of Jesus, I pray that the enemy has not deceived you to fixate on the egregious mistakes of Christians so that you cannot see Jesus. This is an old, but very effective, weapon of the enemy. No matter what any follower of Jesus says or how they present themselves, we are not perfect. In fact, any faithful follower of Jesus will be intensely aware of their own brokenness. Nevertheless, sometimes the caricature of the finger pointing Christian is proved true. It is severely unfortunate but it does happen.
My encouragement for the lady I met was to separate for a moment those who she had contact with and look at Jesus for herself. Take a fresh look at who He is, what He teaches, and what He did. What do you see in Him? Who is He? What does He say it means to walk with Him?
These may be hollow words to you depending on what your experience has been but I sincerely mean them – as a Pastor, on behalf of those who, in the name of Jesus, have wronged you, I ask for your forgiveness. For those of you that I have been the source of your pain, can you forgive me? (I would love to get together and talk.) Can you forgive us who have done these things to you? What we did is not excusable and your forgiveness will be given out of grace – not out of anything deserved. We will not “get away” with anything. Our Father knows all and sees all – trust that He will take care of us. There is a greater issue at stake – you being reconciled with the God of all creation who has been calling you back to Him through Jesus.
For those of us who love God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and who long to see people come to faith in Jesus, we must be prepared to help people deal with the wounds caused by our brothers and sisters. May our Father fill you with His grace and wisdom as you press into the lives of others to share with them the magnificent love of God!
Trexo exists to assist churches, ministries, and people in more effectively making disciples who make disciples.