Saturday, March 24, 2012

book review: The Jesus We Missed

Title: The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth about the Humanity of Christ
Author: Patrick Henry Reardon
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: 2012

While taking care not to minimize the divinity of Jesus, Patrick Henry Reardon helps readers come to grips with Jesus' real flesh-and-blood humanity — which has been the confession of the church for 2,000 years. If we are to grow in our understanding of Jesus, growing in appreciation of his humanity is key.

Too many Christians, often see or perceive Jesus only as the risen Savior, crucified, dead, and buried and risen again for our sake. Even when we read that Jesus became flesh, he became man, born of a woman, he became like us, we still do not grasp the magnitude of that transition. We do not understand that he really became like us! We overlook or discount his humanity.

It is good to see a book that tackled the issue of Jesus - the person.  However, the title of the book is a little misleading. There are no real surprising truths about Christ’s humanity. The humanity of Jesus is a fact, and people choose to embrace it or ignore it. 

Some religious people have frowned upon seeing Jesus as human, because they think it limits or tarnishes the image of his Godliness. On the contrary, knowing that Jesus grew up in the flesh, knowing that he may have had many of the same feelings that we have experienced should inspire us. Jesus ran and tripped like us, he got bloody noses, and scraped his knee like us, he woke up with morning breathe like us, he went to the bathroom like us, he became one of us!

Reardon focuses his attention, and reflections on Jesus’ human condition. He gives insight into how his humanity influenced his ministry. And Reardon explores how much Jesus completely understands our humanity because He experienced it so deeply.

Reardon ends the book with an interesting perspective on Jesus. He reflects on the folded handkerchief which was left behind in the empty tomb after Jesus rose from the dead. Reardon suggests that this simple gesture showed the humanity of Jesus – a Jesus who was naturally neat and tidy, just like His mom taught Him how to be. The resurrected Jesus was still entirely human. And we can all take heart in this folded handkerchief that Jesus was human, understands humanity, and still relates to us as humans.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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