Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Book Review- The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey

I just finished this book The Jesus I Never Knew, and I have to say that the time frame of it's contents right before Easter have made me want to stand up and shout. This is a wonderful book that displays a beautiful portrait of Jesus. As I mentioned in a previous blog it hangs out in the Beatitudes for a while and then quickly goes into the Sinless Savior who is a friend to sinners. He talks at length at how Jesus whole time here on earth was a balancing act. He portrayed a teacher who was not doing away with God's laws but at the same time bringing grace into areas that grace was not permitted.
My book is flagged with so many tags where I have highlighted so much, sometimes almost whole pages, and that to me is a sure sign of a winner. I know this book came out a while ago but if anyone is looking for a great book right before Easter to help you remember the Jesus you fell in love with I highly recommend , The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. To me it is the Jesus I have known but sometimes I forget and we all need reminders.
Here are some of my favorite quotes-

"Among people who walled off a separate sanctum for God in the temple and shrank from pronouncing or spelling out the name, God made a surprise appearance as a baby in a manger. What can be less scary than a newborn with his limbs wrapped tight against his body? In Jesus , God found a way of relating to human beings that did not involve fear."

"As I look back on the three temptations, I see that Satan proposed an enticing improvement. He tempted Jesus toward the good parts of being human without the bad: to savor the taste of bread without being subject to the fixed rules of hunger and of agriculture, to confront risk with no real danger, to enjoy fame and power without the prospect of painful rejection- in short, to wear a crown but not a cross. (The temptation that Jesus resisted, many of us, his followers, still long for.)

"Now that I am an adult, the crisis of the Sermon on the Mount still has not gone away. Though I have tried at times to dismiss it as rhetorical excess, the more I study Jesus, the more I realize that the statements contained here lie at the heart of his message. If I fail to understand this teaching, I fail to understand him."

"In the Beatitudes, Jesus honored people who may not enjoy many privileges in this life. To the poor, the mourners, the meek, the hungry, the persecuted, the poor in heart, he offered assurance that their service would not go unrecognized."

"Yet, as C.S. Lewis reminds us, we dare not discount the value of future rewards. One need only listen to the songs composed by American slaves to realize this consolation of belief. "Swing low sweet chariot, comin' for to carry me home." "When I get to heaven goin' to put on my robe, goin' to shout all over God's heaven." If the slave masters had written these songs for the slaves to sing, they would be an obscenity; rather, they come from the mouths of the slaves themselves, people who had little hope in this world but abiding hope in a world to come. For them, all hope centered in Jesus."

"Various scenes in the Gospels give a good picture of the kind of people who impressed Jesus. A widow who placed her last two cents in the offering. A dishonest tax collector so riddled with anxiety that he climbed a tree to get a better view of Jesus. A nameless, nondescript child. A woman with a string of five unhappy marriages. A blind beggar. An adulteress. A man with leprosy. Strength, good looks, connections, and the competitive instinct may bring a person success in a society like ours, but those very qualities may block entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Dependence, Sorrow, repentance, a longing to change-these are the gates to God's kingdom."

"Jesus came , he told us, not to destroy life but that we may have it more abundantly, "life....to the full". Paradoxically, we get this abundant life in ways we may not have counted on. We get it by investing in others, by taking courageous stands for justice, by ministering to the weak and needy, by pursuing God and not self."

These like I said are just a few and there are more to come later this week I will post the ones that get into the real meanings we celebrate Easter.
If you stuck this one out you must have some time on your hands :)

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