The Jesus I Never Knew

My latest article for the Anderson Independent was a book review of The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey.  You can read it here.

Who is Jesus? Who is He really? That is a question I asked myself years ago when I was considering if the view I had of Jesus really matched up with the true Jesus of scripture. Some of what I thought about Jesus was true, but some of my view of Jesus was seen through the lens of American culture. Some of my misconceptions came from my own stereotypes of what I assumed Him to be like and what seemed safe and comfortable for me.

I found out quickly as I was stretched by my personal search for who Jesus is and what He taught that He is anything but comfortable. As I learned more about the person and teaching of Christ, I was amazed that the man I had imagined in my mind’s eye was drastically different from The Galilean the Gospels speaks of: The man that went against the cultural norms of his day and made amazing claims that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life that every human being is ultimately searching for. During my search for the real Jesus, I read a fantastic book that helped shape the way I view Him.

In His book “The Jesus I Never Knew,” Philip Yancey does a masterful job working through the misconceptions that people have about Jesus and presents Him as the radical, thought provoking, brilliant and challenging person that He is. Yancey gives a unique look at what scripture says about the culture, ministry, life, death and resurrection of this amazing figure who claimed to be the Son of God and challenged people in His time and today to change the focus of their lives from themselves and their personal advancement to in turn follow Him and seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

Yancey begins his investigation of the real Jesus by looking at the question of who He was. He looks in depth at the culture that Jesus was born into and lived in. He also looks at Him from the perspective of His Jewish heritage and Galilean upbringing and how His background shaped the man that we see in scripture. He moves from there to answer the question of why He came, and goes through what Jesus taught and what He did during his ministry. Finally, Yancey looks at the question of what He left behind, and looks at Jesus’ legacy and impact of Jesus life on the world.

This book provides a wonderful framework for anyone interested in studying more about the person of Jesus and His life and mission. It takes a deep look at who Jesus is, what He claimed and what He did for us. Whether you are someone who is investigating the validity of the claims and teaching of Jesus, or someone who has been a believer for years, “The Jesus I never Knew” is a wonderful tool to help discover the real Jesus and the impact His life has for you personally.

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