Jesus Wasn’t Radical

By January 5, 2011Get Inspired

What is it about the New Year that makes everyone want to be radical? January brings out the cheesy “New Year – New You” slogans and our inner glam girl desire to go from geek to chic by February.

We start with a bang and finish with a fizzle before we even hit day 12.

So I’ve been thinking…maybe being radical is overrated.

Jesus Wasn’t Radical

We often hear about how radical Jesus was. The way He stood up to the Pharisees. The way He performed miracles. The way He rose from the dead.

(Ok. Fine. The last one is kinda radical.)

But, really, Jesus wasn’t all that radical.

The Jews WANTED radical. They WANTED Jesus to come swooping out of the sky with a thousand chariots, destroy their enemies, bring immediate peace, and set up His glorious kingdom while they pumped their fists and sang “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!”

THAT would have been radical.

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Aaaand…He was born in a stable. With cows.

Not very radical.

His followers WANTED Him to be radical. They WANTED Him to go Chuck Norris on Pilate. They WANTED Him to jump off the cross and say, “Psych!”

Aaaand…He got beat up and then He died.

Not very radical.

Hold Your Tomatoes, I Have A Point

As we embark on this new year and all of our radical goals and resolutions (probably the same ones we set last January) remember this:

Jesus wasn’t into the quick fix. Or overnight success. Or amazing results.

Sure, He raised people from the dead, walked on water and did cool stuff like that.

But the radical didn’t come first.

He was God Incarnate. Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Born surrounded by cows.

He did the hard, unglorious, nitty gritty, day to day stuff. He listened. He loved. He knew.

He was faithful. For 33 years.

And then the radical happened.


So if you want your New Year’s resolutions to stick beyond next Tuesday, don’t despise small beginnings. Don’t pursue infomercial transformation.

Dream big, but start small. Lay the foundation of faithfulness.

And then the radical will happen.

How can you start small on one of your big goals?

Leave a Comment



  • Kat says:

    Before anyone burns me at the stake. Yes, technically, Jesus was pretty radical. Just using my poetic license. πŸ™‚

  • Leigh says:

    But Kat, I think you made a fabulous point. Yes, Jesus *was* radical, but he was FAITHFUL and OBEDIENT to the Father. We don’t hear about approx. 30 years of his life… That’s 30 years of day to day working as a carpenter, listening to God, on his knees in prayer, waiting for God’s timing for his ministry to begin.

    • Joyce says:

      So true. There’s a line from a VeggieTales Christmas song that makes me think of this…This is Junior Asparagus singing: “Was He a boy like me, did He bounce on daddy’s knee?”

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jessica Mueller. Jessica Mueller said: Love your poetic license! πŸ˜‰ RT @inspired2action: New post: "Jesus Wasn't Radical" – […]

    I love it! Is it wrong that I’m cracking up at the Chuck Norris and “Psych!” bits?
    In all seriousness… I’m definitely an instant gratification kind of girl and God has been teaching me to be patient and faithful. THANK you for this post. It really spoke to me.

  • Andrea says:

    You nailed it. Thank you.

  • I love this. Love. Love. Love.

    • Kat says:

      I was pretty nervous when I posted this. Not sure if I’d offend or if I’d communicated well. I can’t tell you how encouraging your comment was. Thanks, Melissa!

  • Melissa says:

    So encouraging! Faithfulness IS my new year’s resolution and it’s been that for a year and a half now…still trying to figure out how to do that, but I guess it’s just one step at a time…

    • Kat says:

      Faithfulness was my theme last year too. I suppose at some level it always will be. One small step at a time is definitely the way to go!

  • Wendi says:

    Kat–I loved this post! It’s faithfulness in the small things! Your blog is such a blessing to me!

  • Katrina says:

    No tomatoes here – you made some excellent points. Now I’ve got “something to chew on” for the day – thank you!

  • Andie says:

    I like what you said at the end, “Dream big, but start small.” So true. Thank you for the great post.

  • Becca says:

    AWESOME post, Kat! .

  • Caite says:

    Kat, this post hit me like a ton of bricks. Thank you for helping me dial it back.!
    I linked to this post on today’s whisper to the wind. More folks need to read this post!


  • Tawnya says:

    Just what I was needing/looking for. Been deleting all the ‘eat well and lose a million pounds’, ‘Just 25 steps to a new and healthier/more spiritual/thinner/etc etc. you’ emails in my inbox, and wondering on one side how I could believe the hype, and on the other why wasn’t I working on resolutions yet? Because maybe if I just try harder…

    Well, I felt like I got real meat out of your post instead of sneaky fluff that tastes good and leaves me hungry with a bigger back side!
    Especially love the cows!

  • Tiffany says:

    Just what I needed to confirm my resolve to be obedient in some “small” things God keeps directing me toward. My small beginning is to {again} begin to read through the whole Bible as well as stick with my Bible memorization plan through the WHOLE year and not fizzle when the older kids are home over the summer. These aren’t things that anyone outside our home will ever even know, but hopefully the effects will gradually become apparent in my life!


    Thank you for another excellent point. Kat, you consistently encourage and inspire. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you so powerfully. Keep it up. Faithful style.

  • Mindy says:

    GREAT post and great points! I’ve always felt that way about the New Year too….kind of a more “slow and steady wins the race” type, I guess.

    Being faithful and committed beats overzealous, in my book:)

  • alece says:


    big dreams, small steps. it’s about being faithful, being diligent, and simply putting one foot in front of the other. while a quick fix would be nice, i know life doesn’t work like that. true lasting change definitely doesn’t come from a QVC impulse-buy. it comes from faithful obedience, moment by moment.

    sometimes it’s hard to remember that baby steps are progress. but i know they are. i know that “little by little” is more than just okay. it’s usually exactly what God wants from me.

  • Amanda Sims says:

    Wow. So true. Hits me where I live. Thanks for sharing your OneWord.

  • Jason says:

    That post, to quote a sports fanatic friend of mine, is “Game, Set, Match.”

  • Prudence says:

    This is a great reminder. We expect over night results, but transformation takes time.

  • Tony Alicea says:

    So I have to wait another year and a half before radical happens? πŸ™‚

    Seriously thought, great thoughts here Kat. My word of the year is “resolve”. I’m starting small by going to some people in my life and forgive them. I’m ready to bring resolve to old issues and release them.

  • XCWaterboy says:

    I see your point and it’s good but I still kind of disagree. Jesus was radical, not in a political sense but in the way that he saw and explained things. He was completely counter-cultural. What ordinary Jew of his day would call out the religious elite like he did? No one was thinking as he was which made him radical.
    I don’t think this means we should look at Jesus and say, “I can never hope to do anything close to what he did” and despair, but to constantly be asking ourselves, “How comfortable am I in my culture? Am I just going along with everyone or everything else? Or am I trying to be radical AND faithful in Jesus’ name to really do something in life?”
    I guess to sum up it’s a both/and situation, not either/or.

  • Awesome blog post!! This kicked me in the tail and was a great reminder for me to be faithful in the small. Have had some frustrations with something I started because I’m not seeing any “big time” results. This was just the encouragement I needed. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • patricia says:

    Faithfulness is a lost art, especially in america where people expect instant results.

    It’s funny how we often forget that abraham waited 25 years, joseph and david waited 13, Jesus waited 30, moses waited 40. These great men waited so long to even begin to see a glimpse of God’s promise in their lives.

    What makes us think that we’ll be any different from them in regards to waiting and character building?

    Loved your post. So very insightful! πŸ™‚

  • douglas says:

    wow, such profundity. but so very true. We want radical when God wants faithfulness. This really reminds me of the Scripture that says “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much” (Luke 16:10). I know the context of the passage is money, but the principle remains the same in life, God wants us to be faithful in the little we have, so that he can entrust with more.

    thank you for being faithful in writing this post. be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. I have chosen to be faithful this year to God and develop the talent he has given me for photography. check out for my progress.

  • Marni says:

    That is *exactly* what I needed!! Thank you!

  • christy says:

    i know it’s a littte late in the day…but i totally related to this…i am such a dreamer so i see radical all the time, but totally fail because of the missing faithfulness…thanks for the bold reminder…it was totally appreciated!

  • Great post. I have heard the “Jesus was radical” stuff for many years, but have never agreed, He was not the radical. We are the radicals. We subvert God’s law. We are the ones who have sinned, and brought death and distruction into the world. Jesus came, not as a radical, but as God incarnate, with the authority and intent of a Creator to set everything back into order.

  • There are plenty of ways of being radical, and you don’t have to be (or appear) stupid, to be radical.

    Try buying a tank of gas for a needy family at a gas station. Buy a bag of groceries for a lady who needs help at the supermarket.

    Turn the other cheek when some insults you. Speak softly and kindly in reply to someone who is angry and curses you.

    Refuse an honor sometime, when some group or other wants to do something like that for you.

    Speak respectfully of President Obama, even if only out of respect for his office.

    Love someone who doesn’t like you.

    And besides, New Year’s resolutions are ridiculous anyway. Saying you’re going to do something in the future reminds me of the church that prays for revival. But March 14th-17th .. not now.

  • […] Jesus Wasn’t Radical (By Kat at Inspired To Action. Thought provoking for when you’re planing your 2011 goals) […]

  • Monica says:

    I read Jeremiah 3:5 months ago and it really spoke to my heart that I needed to make many changes in my life if I truly wished to serve the Lord with all I am. It is so true that in our society we want everything NOW forgetting that patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit!! Thank you for this great post as it serves as a wonderful reminder that we are a work in progress and all is God’s perfect time!!!

  • Mela Kamin says:

    I love this, Kat – in this world, faithfulness of any kind is pretty radical. Reminds me of Scott Underwood’s song Take My Life:

    Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for
    Faithfulness is what I need
    Faithfulness, faithfulness is what You want from me

  • mideastmom says:

    Copying. Pasting. Posting.

    Just a snippet. See my status.

  • Sarah says:

    Great post. I have to keep that idea in front of me, to take it slowly, to be faithful, and not expect my “resolutions” to stick by next Tuesday (Monday preferred).

  • I agree!! I do really think we have to be faithful with the small stuff before we are trusted with the big stuff!! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole says:

    Yes yes yes. Doing something great takes time. Change takes time. Stay faithful and don’t quit!
    It took Noah 120 years to build the Ark!

  • Sara Suastez says:

    At first I was rather confused by this post but then I definitely got what you were saying and it is really great insight. Having to wait 30 years to finally be able to do what you were meant to do has to be really hard and it is a lesson we should all learn and follow! Thanks for that!

  • Joy says:

    Just happened upon your blog – the title of this enticed me to read on, and I’m so glad! Thank you for your candid, honest, authentic, insightful words… I’m inspired and encouraged! Bless you as you continue to serve Him through your words!