"Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus said to them in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners." This passage is from Luke’s gospel today, chapter 5. Jesus was such the radical, eating with those tax collectors and sinners!
In today’s world, the word “radical” has come to mean someone who is edgy, experimental, outside the norm, or maybe even considered crazy. Yet, at its root, radical means “of or having roots; going to the origin, the essential." With this understanding, I would agree that Jesus was a radical! He was getting to the essence or essential of our humanity. He was going to the root of who we are and healing us. All of us. Even the Pharisees, who thought they were not sick and in need of a physician.
What would your life look like if you became a radical? Being a person who goes to the origin, the roots, the essential of yourself, of who you are? I believe that part of being radical means that we are going beyond our comfort zone into some unfamiliar and maybe even scary territory. Maybe we are being a bit crazy! So what??!! Isn’t getting to the root of who we are a journey that will bear much fruit? Feed our minds, hearts and souls? Give us a sense of identity and maybe even purpose?? Don’t we need to sometimes go into the darkness, the deep recesses of ourselves to really see a more complete picture of who we are and what we are made of??!! The darkness can play tricks on us and make us believe that all will not go well, or that we will come up against something that is life threatening. However, in my own experience, when I have taken the flashlight of faith and hope into those dark and gloomy places, I have found that what I thought might be there was not there at all. And, in fact, it was quite the opposite. What I found was the radical me! My roots, my essence, my origin! My integrity, my authenticity, my child of God status. If I had stood paralyzed in fear, I would have never experienced the radical me. And, that my friends, is the sin. When we do not allow ourselves to move more deeply into our radicalness, then we are not living life full out! We might even be living safe, protected and half-hearted. Is that who we honestly and truly want to be? Is that who we are called to be?
What would your life be like today if you decided to be a bit radical? What if you decided to push yourself out of the harbor of safety into the waters of radical exploration? Don’t be surprised if you encounter Jesus standing on the water, holding his hand out for you.