John MacArthur is a popular writer, pastor, and speaker. Tons of Christians listen and read the man. Except for me … until now. This is the first book of his that I have read. And it won’t be my last, either. The man is gifted.
The kind of Christian books I devour, our ones that are packed full of scripture; books that lead me to not accept one’s personal opinion, but rather the very Truth spoken from God’s Word. I love it, because it causes me to grow in my own faith and understanding. It helps me dive deeper into God’s Word; to bring a fuller revelation of what He is saying from one book to another.
John MacArthur does this well … especially within “The Jesus You Can’t Ignore.”
According to MacArthur (… actually, according to scripture), Jesus was both “compassionate” and “confrontational.” His heart broke for those who were sick, heavy burdened, hungry, weak, and even dead. He gave of Himself to all that asked: Jew and Gentile alike. He exemplified a new way of living and thinking. He broke through stereotypes, man-made barriers, and religious hypocrisy. Yet, Jesus also stood for the Truth – because He was the Truth. When God’s word was being twisted, Jesus called people on it. He spoke out against religious oppression; and called all people back to the heart of the Father. At times, He even drew a line in the sand and told people, “This is what it means to follow after Me.” He made people choose: either they live for themselves or they live for God.
Jesus was “both, and” … not “either, or”.
MacArthur goes through the Gospels and shows how Jesus lived a life of Grace and Truth. He weaves together a message for today’s Church, that is timely: we must see, teach, and live within the full revelation of Christ, and not simply the parts that are comfortable. Following Jesus is not a road of comfort; it is a road of sacrifice and worship to the One who is worthy, holy, just, and everlasting – Jesus. This is the picture MacArthur paints for us in his book; this is the Jesus we are called to follow and be imitators of, again and again; this is the Jesus we can no longer ignore.