As I read, I found myself becoming captivated.
I was riveted by the way this one man’s life has impacted the way I experience life today.
Chapter by chapter, author, John Ortberg, revealed areas of this world that are not without this man's influence today. No matter what people think when they hear his name, it is because of this man our modern ideas are what they are in the realms of dignity, life, egalitarianism, the value of women and children and those with special needs, education, science, medical care, humility, separation of church and state, authenticity, community, sexuality, marriage, the arts, space and time.
All of it shaped by the life of this one man. As Ortberg asks over and over again, building momentum each time—who is this man?
This man is Jesus.
This man is Jesus.
So often, my experience of Jesus has been through the Bible. John Ortberg’s book, Who is this Man?, looks at Jesus with a different lens. He paints a large historical picture that I find extremely fascinating.
Looking at the way history changed because of Jesus is amazing.
As I read, I thought about how it is through this one man the world changed and drastically so—values, vision, and action of those who put their trust in him. It is as though history has hinged around him. History before him, as it is told in the story of Israel, was pointing toward hope in a Messiah. History after him, right up through the present we live in, points toward change that has happened because of Jesus. Why is that?
It is almost like the world and all of its history points toward His Lordship.
“Yale historian Jaroslav Pelikan wrote, “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western Culture for almost twenty centuries” (Who is this Man?, 14). Ortberg explores the many ways in which this is true, and why this might be the case. In so doing, he is seeks to show that “Jesus is history’s most familiar figure. His impact on the world is immense and non-accidental” (12).
Who is this Man? made for a very interesting read. It is one that I would recommend exploring. I found that I was given a better grasp of many ways that the ideals our culture likes to promote and uphold are fruits of the ministry and teaching of Christ and his church. I also found that by processing and thinking about these things, I feel better equipped to engage in conversation about Jesus as a source of these ideals and a vehicle for talking about his role in history and the implications it has for everyone.
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:15-19
Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we seek to love the Lord with all of our mind. May we find that as we read, ponder, discuss, and engage the brains God has given us that he transforms our hearts and gives us the tools to share these things with others.