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    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    Simply Jesus---A Review

    I recently read a book that really got my mind moving. I'm sure you've guessed by now the title is Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright. I've read plenty of books on Jesus and many of those books have been instrumental to my faith and understanding of Him in new ways. This book has not only done that but helped me to reframe Jesus from his historical background as well.

    Most people would agree hat Jesus was and still is today a controversial person. His life, death and resurrection have been the topic of many a conversation for thousands of years. However, this book by N.T. Explains better than I've ever heard just how controversial Jesus truly was and still is. Jesus said things that drove the religious leaders bonkers, India anyone reading the Gospels could obviously see, yet what was it that was driving them so bonkers? Wy were some seemingly harmless words by Jesus spurring such anger from these men?

    N.T. in this book Goes deeply into the Jewish tradition before, during and after Jesus to painstakingly explain why.

    One of the major themes of The messiah is that of a King and making his rule reign over all the earth, and in many a Jews mind this new regime would put them (especially the religious rulers) at the center of this kingdom. In their minds, the coming king, the anointed one would rule in power and military might over the world, making Israel the world power. After their enslavement to Egypt, then all the kings of Babylon, Rome and others they deeply desired this type of rule. It became more deep rooted and with more selfish motives for the religious rulers because they thought of themselves as co-rulers in this kingdom to come. Yet, God had different plans. He stated (as NT goes at length to describe) that he Himself would be King and His coming would not be just for the blessing of the Jews but the whole world. He then stated how this servant would suffer for all and overthrow the mighty adversary with a world winning victory. This victory was only due to the death of the servant who would suffer.

    NT describes from Isaiah this theme then talks about the Son of man theme from Daniel and shows How Daniel saw God being King in what looked like a son of man, a human ruler but yet still God or the "arm of the Almighty".

    Some of you reading this might say "no duh Marvin, we know this stuff" and some of it is not new..however seeing allot the messianic scriptures togethers and trying to see what the Jews saw and what was actually written causes the ah ha moment of understanding more fully why they were so ticked. Jesus called himself the son of man a lot, which wouldn't seem too bad, except for the additional things he stated, did and fought against. Basically he continued to say he, God came and the Temple was no longer needed, because he was the temple, the resurrection was through Him and that the rule was in Him and the rulers who expected to be co-rulers would have nothing to do with his new order, in fact the people who've been oppressing them would have more of a part than them!

    Jesus took all of their teaching and showed them how wrong they were...and worse yet people were following and listening to it!

    This book is deeply theological and immensely historical which means its not for everyone but the depth of work NT does here is phenomenal and worth reading. It opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of the Historical Jesus, some of which I knew but never pieced together quite as deeply or with as much understanding as tis work here does. There is so much more than I could quickly blog but man it is GOOD STUFF!

    Marv Nelson
    Pastor of Young Adults