Is Jesus a radical?

I think this could go either way. On the one hand, Jesus upset the religious leaders of the day. He called them liars, vipers, hypocrites etc., they certainly believed he was radical. They hated him to the point of demanding his crucifixion. Yet Jesus never ran afoul of the secular Roman government. Though the Romans carried out his execution, it was not for violating their laws. The secular government didn’t find him or his teachings radical or threatening to their power.

Today, It seems that the secular government does exactly the opposite. Everything that Jesus stood for and taught is hated by the government. Follow him and you are labeled with any number of epithets. Bigot, racist, homophobe, xenophobe, misogynist… Even many who profess his name believe he and his teachings are radical. Jesus is considered a threat to the government.

The secular government hasn’t changed. All the things that are being done today and the behaviors of society haven’t changed since Jesus’ time, yet today all traces of Jesus, his teachings and influence must be effectively “killed”.

Jesus has never changed. His message is the same today a it was when he walked the earth as a man.

When, why or how was/is Jesus a radical? Was he ever or never a radical?

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The humans running the secular Roman Government didn’t see Jesus as a threat to their power. Can the same be said of the humans involved in running the government today?

The greatest of prophets, Jesus Christ (may peace forever be upon Him) was most certainly a radical in regards to the standards of that era.

His teachings called for the first religion that was inherently separate from state power. He didn’t command his followers to form states based solely on his teachings. All other religions, be they polytheistic or monotheistic, called on the marriage between the organs of state power and the church itself. What he created and promised was something far different and far more radical. That one’s faith was personal. To go out and convert, but with love instead of the sword.

It’s just too bad that the descendants of his followers decided to misinterpret what He taught and then created Christian theocratic states. Which like many of the Islamic (and ultimately Islam is a corrupted version of what Christ taught as well) states committed a ton of crimes. Difference being that the Christian Empires were acting exactly how Christ taught them not to act. While the Muhammeden just followed in their founder’s footsteps.


The Roman government left him alone. He told followers to obey those appointed over them and to pay their taxes… doesn’t sound very radical…

By the religious standards of that time it was crazy radical.

Every other religion movement of that era was based on forcibly converting the existing government over to your religion. Or you killed them all and formed a new government based on the tenants of your faith.

So yes Christ teaching his followers to obey the Romans and to “render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar” was very radical.

That was the reason the Jews of Judea rejected Christ. They were under the impression that the promised Messiah would come in sword blazing, smite the Romans, and restore Judea to its rightful place under the sun. Problem was that Christ was the exact opposite of all that.

Jesus didn’t publicly call for the removal of certain political leaders, so was no threat to the political authorities. The Jews also had exemption from worshippimg other gods, even Caesar.

However today’s Christians do publicly call for and work towards the removal of certain political leaders. So, they are seen as a threat to their political control of nations.

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Radical? Perhaps, but Jesus was not a political person at all.

He never once claimed "We should establish a grass roots political organization to . . . "
nor did he say “Caesar should tax the rich to feed the poor,”
nor “The church should collect tithes and use them to feed the poor.”

Jesus primary contribution was to turn the religion into a religion of personal responsibility.

Before Jesus:
The Jewish people did ‘A’ and so the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt.
They did ‘B’ and they were freed.

They Jewish people did ‘C’ and so they were conquered by Babylon and dragged into exile.
They did ‘D’ and so they were freed.

If the old law required adulteresses be stoned to death, and required the daughter of a priest who defiled herself be burned to death it was because God meted punishments to entire societies based on what the society allowed.

After Jesus:
God will handle judgement and punishment. We did a lousy job of that. Henceforth the religion is to be one of personal action.
“Don’t commit adultery” still applies, and so does “Feed the poor,”
but in the AD era societies shall no longer do the judging and punishing. It is all about personal action personal rewards and personal punishments shall come from God, not from flawed men.

During the millennium Jesus is going to rule personally from his throne. It doesn’t get more theocratic than that. Because Jesus is perfect in righteousness and judgement, we can assume his government will be perfect as well. It seems then that we are destined for a radical future. Why do we fight it then?

So who are the radicals? Those in power or those deemed a threat?

That is the question.

Jesus avoided unnecessary opposition. He accomplished His will more in an evolutionary manner - - - - - a process of gradual and peaceful social change. He used seed, leaven, and flavoring salt.

God’s eternal plan for us it that we “conform to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:29

. . . That we are “joint heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:17

This awesome promise is the extravagance of God’s grace. What Christ is heir to in all its glory, we are also heir to.

Peter refers to “the exceeding great and precious promises,” and says they make us “partakers of the divine nature.” 2 Peter 1:4

Do joint-heirs with Christ even need a government to rule over them?

That’s a good question. I had never thought of “rule” as what we have now, before. For Christians in the millennial reign and for Christians in heaven, we will have our new nature. We won’t be sinning, so I believe a “rule” will be necessary in terms of keeping things going- administrative things and such.

But there will be unsaved people during the millennium, and so there will be sin and thus law and order will be necessary. I don’t know how it will be set up. Jesus will be ruling, so he will know what’s going on everywhere, but to what extent he will need and use people, scripture doesn’t give much details.

Jesus and the apostles taught a series of personal commandments (some of them might be considered radical) but they were all about personal behaviors, never about how governments should act.

–“Feed the hungry,” would be a Jesus thing.
–“Force others, like corporations and rich people, to feed the hungry,” would not be.

–The early Israelites refused to eat pork or shellfish.
–There is no evidence they tried to prevent others from doing so.

–My own grandparents took in an entire family of Vietnamese refugees after the war,
–To my knowledge they never advocated a government that allowed mass immigration, in fact they sometimes/often expressed concern about foreigners taking our jobs

So, while it’s possible Jesus was a radical, if he was, it was certainly a radicalism of personal behavior, not about forcing others to behave a certain way, do (or abstain from) certain things. That would not be a Jesus thing at all.


Radically awesome.

Because we are Jesus’ brothers and sisters, because we are also God’s sons and daughters. :wink:

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The family of God. I like that.

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One thing Jesus advocated and lived was obedience to God above all things. In the O.T., we see God often as a God of war.

Many times he commanded Israel to go into a city and utterly destroy it. Men, women and children and even all the animals.

I believe that America was founded by the direction and providence of God. But I also believe that America dies before end times.

Yes, Jesus absolutely taught the idea of personal responsibility, but a mass following of Jesus teachings leads to essentially government involvement because government is comprised of the people. This idea is enshrined in our Constitution- WE THE PEOPLE… Our existence as a nation is predicated on the idea that our rights are derived from God, and our justice system is based primarily on the Judeo-Christian laws in scripture, so it could be argued that our government does by defacto, enforce Christianity upon us. Or at least it used to.

We used to be a “Christian” nation, but we aren’t anymore. Obama got it right when he said we’re not a Christian nation. Most people today either don’t believe in God, or pay lip service to believing in him but pay no attention to what he says, which has lead to the same result. Our society is in chaos and declining rapidly. So it seems the radical idea of personal responsibility must translate somehow into government enforcement or we arrive where we currently are…

And yet Jesus said to some " you’re of your father the devil and HIS will you will do." Clearly not everyone is a child of God. The last thing Jesus did before he ascended to Heaven was to command his apostles and disciples to GO and teach all that he taught, the good news of the gospel, AND the warnings of and penalty for sin. Most everyone really likes the gospel part but the warning part not so much.

Would you say Its radical to proclaim just the good news, the bad news or both?

Psalm 82:6

John 10:34

Not that these quote-offs are anything but an ego trip between people who think they have the right answers. Speaking of Ego, that’s what Satan is. There isn’t some slippery little serpent running around whispering in people’s ears. WE are the devil, and WE are the direct creations of the Lord.

It’s plainly obvious that we are all God’s children without silly little quotes from silly little religious sources that have zero authority in this world in the first place. This obvious answer can be found within by anyone willing.