Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
By: Ric Hudgens
I’m weary of Jesus talk. In the black church we say “don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.” You have to be sixteen to drive a car and twenty-one to drink a beer but you can talk about Jesus all you want and no one will call you on it as you long as you say the right things. But what are the right things to say about Jesus? The real Jesus that is—not the plastic Jesus riding on the dashboard of your car but the bloodied Jesus knocked in the ditch by our monster truck churches and hit-and-run lifestyles.
Flannery O’Connor understood something disturbingly true about the real Jesus. In her novel Wise Blood she wrote of her protagonist Hazel Motes, “He [Hazel] knew by the time he was twelve years old that he was going to be a preacher. Later he saw Jesus move from tree to tree in the back of his mind, a wild ragged figure motioning him to turn around and come off into the dark where he was not sure of his footing, where he might be walking on the water and not know it and then suddenly know it and drown.”1
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