Jesus is a popular figure. Even hippies like Jesus, right? Well maybe…
The question is: do they really know who Jesus is, what he is like, what he said, and how he interacted with people? Most people are ok with Jesus when he is gentle, meek, and mild. The problem is, Jesus isn’t always like that. Sometimes Jesus is anything but gentle, in fact he seems at times hard and even offensive. John MacArthur would like to introduce us to this less gentle side of Jesus. The Jesus who confronts and offends. Drawing on the first hand accounts of Jesus’ incarnation as recorded for us in the first four books of the New Testament, MacArthur gives us The Jesus You Can’t Ignore.
We must be careful to remember, as MacArthur often reminds us throughout the work, that Jesus is always loving, and always working toward redemption. It’s just that sometimes love is hard, even harsh. We must also remember that MacArthur’s stated purpose for writing the book is to refute a pervasive error being taught in our day/culture that Christians should always be gentle, understanding, and accepting toward others. MacArthur is not advocating for always being confrontational and condemning, instead he’s arguing for balance based on the example of Jesus.
Anyone who is prepared to pick a fight over every minor difference of opinion is spiritually immature, sinfully belligerent – or worse. Scripture includes this clear command: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18)
But sometimes – especially when a vitally important biblical truth is under assault; when souls of people are at stake; or (above all) when the gospel message is being mangled by false teachers – sometimes, it is simply wrong to let a contrary opinion be aired without any challenge or correction. ¹ [emphasis in original]
MacArthur’s purpose is to provoke us to:
…pay more careful attention to how Jesus dealt with false teachers, what He thought of religious error, how He defended the truth, whom He commended and whom He condemned – and how little He actually fit the gentle stereotype that is so often imposed on Him today. ²
Accordingly, MacArthur takes the reader on a tour through, primarily, the Gospel According to Luke, highlighting Jesus’ interactions with, comments concerning, and teaching regarding the religious leaders of the day. We see how Jesus continually confronts and condemns the religious elite for their gross hypocrisy.
MacArthur does not encourage us to, in fact he continually reminds us not to, be contentious. What he does is show us from the life of Jesus when it’s wrong to be nice. A lesson Christians in post-modern America desperately need to learn. This book is on my highly recommended list.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
- Prologue xii
- Prologue xv