Wednesday 20 February 2013

Who Is This Man by John Ortberg

I was given this book as a Christmas present from the Bowmans and finished it the night before I left for America (making it the first book I've finished in 2013 - it was a busy January!).  The book looks at the influence of the most influential person in history - Jesus.  Jesus lived until He was 33 and His public ministry was only three years and yet His impact is so far reaching.

As people became captivated by Jesus and His love for all people His followers changed the world.  As Jesus loved and gave dignity to people regardless of gender, health, occupation, social status, wealth He modelled something that His followers still try to work towards as they seek to free the twenty-seven million slaves around the world, as they seek to empower women, as they seek to fight poverty.  

Jesus influenced the worlds of art, science, medicine, government and education as Christians sought to provide care for the sick and dying or provide schooling for those who otherwise would not have had it.

The book was a great and yet easy read.  It was inspiring to hear the amazing things Christians have done as they have sought to love others around the world in the various areas the book covers.  A lot of research obviously went into the book and yet at times I found myself laughing as the author has a very engaging style.  The book also ended with three chapters on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday respectively which were also great.

In this 21st Century I think it's easy to rely on the government to provide for people and their needs but originally schools, hospitals and other services were provided by churches.  As the economy continues to suffer it is so encouraging to see local churches step up and provide resources (foodbanks, education about finances and budgeting, etc) that truly love and serve their communities.  

Jesus has left an unremovable mark in history and, as I look at the huge needs that exist in the world, I pray that His Church would continue to be known as people who changed history by loving others in the name of Jesus.

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