Do you believe Jesus was meek and mild? Think again, says Stafford! Reflecting on Christ within the context of his culture and era, Stafford explodes our stereotypes and introduces you to a person who fearlessly stands up to the status quo, powerfully preaches the kingdom of God, and transforms our world through his message and actions. 253 pages, hardcover from InterVarsity.
Many people have the image of Jesus as a kind shepherd delicately caressing a little lamb, such a serene and loving Savior. But Tim Stafford wants his readers to picture a more complete Jesusone who can display a wide variety of emotions and actions without losing focus on His mission. It is precisely that mission the arrival and establishment of the Kingdom of God that Stafford masterfully presents to his readers.
Stafford starts with the familiar scene that begins Jesus ministry: His baptism by John the Baptist. He explains the historic Jewish context of the baptism and what it signified for Jesus as well as the people of Israel. Stafford provides insight into the necessity to understand first-century Judaism and how much of a foundation that played in everything Jesus did. Viewed from that perspective, the reader can appreciate the words and acts of Jesus with deeper understanding and significance.
Stafford explains how Jesus Jewish heritage was revealed in His prayers, warnings, symbolic language, and how he dealt with Satans temptations in the wilderness. He looks at the various philosophies about resurrection, and also the importance of Jesus heading straight for Jerusalem and the horrible crucifixion awaiting Him there.
Surprised by Jesus will probably surprise many readers, but it will be a joyful and enlightening type of surprise. By understanding how thoroughly Jesus understood His mission and how much He was driven by it, the reader will get a more comprehensive view of Jesus Christ. A study guide is also provided for personal or group study. Jeff Friend, Christian Book Previews.com
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