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A Fresh Look at the Christmas Story
More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Simply Jesus , please sign up. Shelves: non-fiction , christian-devotionals. I would recommend this book to any Christian regardless of how mature they are in their spiritual life. An excellent read to refresh you in your faith. I like the engaging way that Joe Stowell writes.
I was reminded by this book that Jesus is all about people. Stowell says that People are Jesus' love language. I also found chapter 8 subtitled "experiencing Jesus in seasons of suffering," very helpful. Jan 29, Carole Jarvis rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , inspirational.
Simply Jesus: A fresh look at the Christmas story
This book simply points us to Jesus and helps us to examine our personal relationship with Him. It's short and would work well as a quiet time resource. Dec 03, Debbie rated it it was amazing Shelves: christian , non-fiction. This is one of those books I pull out once a year to remind me of the important truths of Christianity. If you're ever left feeling like Christ isn't playing as big a role in your life as you've wanted or you feel he should be, then this is a good, short book to read to get your focus right again.
Feb 15, Caroline rated it really liked it. Tiny book packed full of goodness. Great book:. Great book - I read it when going through some very difficult trials and it was a big help in helping me focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and no one else!!
This was a great devotional book where I took a chapter a day. It was challenging to my spiritual ways. I highly recommend it. Betsy Loy rated it it was ok Jan 07, Ron Murphy rated it it was amazing May 02, Anna Miller rated it it was amazing Apr 03, Kevin Mayer rated it really liked it Aug 03, Andrea Beltran Alvarado rated it it was amazing Sep 04, Bd Brown rated it really liked it Mar 05, Omar rated it liked it Nov 08, Robin rated it really liked it Jun 23, Paul Spear rated it really liked it Oct 24, Sara rated it it was ok May 03, Jerry Vanee rated it it was amazing Dec 26, Chris Murphy rated it it was amazing Jan 02, Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing Nov 14, Hiridessa rated it really liked it Oct 19, Melody Rogers rated it it was amazing Feb 09, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Self Help. About Joseph M. Comprised of approximately undergraduate and graduate students, Cornerstone is a Christ-centered university with a passion for global influence through the transforming power of the gospel. The University is committed to creating an environment where students thrive both spiritually and int Dr. The University is committed to creating an environment where students thrive both spiritually and intellectually as they prepare themselves to influence our world as followers of Jesus.
His "Strength for the Journey" web ministry, www. Joe serves on the Board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Wheaton College, and has a distinguished career in higher education and church leadership. From , he served as the president of Moody Bible Institute, and as teaching pastor at the 10,member Harvest Bible Chapel in suburban Chicago from to early prior to assuming the presidency at Cornerstone University. He is a graduate of Cedarville University and Dallas Theological Seminary and was honored with a doctor of divinity degree from The Master's College in Joe and his wife Martie are the parents of three adult children and ten grandchildren.
He further suggests that his father, Joseph, never adopted him or accepted him as his son. This would have resulted in the fact that Jesus' mother, Mary, would have been devalued in that community and Jesus would have been denigrated as a bastard; that is, a person under the curse of a sin of which he could not be cleansed, even though it was not his own. Thus, Jesus would have grown up nurturing a strong need to reassert his mother's status as a wholesome person, find a father in God whom he tended to call 'Abba' [daddy], and assert himself as a heroic person with a genuine commitment to authentic spirituality, despite his socially demeaned and denigrated illegitimacy.
That attempt to rescue his mother and himself from painful disrepute, says Capps, was carried out by Jesus in his challenging the Mosaic regulations championed by the Pharisees and urging the embrace of the Abrahamic vision of God's radical forgiving grace for all humanity. The Rabbis of later Rabbinic Judaism claimed that the Pharisees thought the people of God could be renewed spiritually by following the Mosaic laws and perhaps the subsequent elaborations of those laws.
That tough guy from Nazareth: A psychological assessment of Jesus
This externally imposed behaviour would bring inner spiritual change, restoring the godly authenticity of the Israelite nation. Jesus is presented in the gospels as holding that such an external approach could never be internalised to produce authentic spiritual renewal. Instead, he thought that spiritual renewal for Israel had to start with an internal renovation that would then be expressed by godly behaviour. The Pharisees wanted to renew Israel from the outside in.
The Jesus in the gospel narratives claimed it could only be done from the inside out. He proposed that could be accomplished by proclaiming God's absolute forgiveness and grace to every human being. Anyone who really got that message would authentically turn to God with the confession: 'If that is the way God feels about me, I want to be God's kind of person. In the literary narratives about Jesus' person and life, Capps believes, the defining crisis came when 'Jesus set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem', where he knew the authorities were waiting to kill him.
When he arrived he went to the temple and created a great disturbance, presumably in the middle of a worship service.
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Jesus violently interrupted the prescribed operations in the temple. He turned over the tables and castigated the people who were helping the pilgrims from out of town procure the required sacrificial animals they needed to present to the priests. Then he claimed that God required the temple to be a worshipful place of prayer for all humans. He claimed that the Pharisaical system of Mosaic laws had turned it into an obscene commercial operation.
Moreover, the temple was partitioned into spaces that made it accessible only to a small group of Jews. It excluded the world of humanity. Capps asserts that this crisis popularly known as 'the cleansing of the temple' was a kind of psychological explosion and expurgation by which Jesus symbolically removed his bastard status, in the eyes of the Jewish community, by asserting his superior relationship with God, his father. He also, thereby, cleansed his mother's impurities and devalued status in the community, restoring her wholesomeness and holiness by demonstrating how badly wrong the Mosaic system was, and how badly it distorted the Abrahamic Covenant of radical grace.
John W. Contrary to Capps's perspective, Miller believes that Jesus was adopted by Joseph as a beloved son and experienced a warmly affirming and appropriately intimate relationship with Joseph as father Miller Miller sees this as born out in the close relationship with God, as his loving father, that Jesus expressed throughout his ministry. Miller also discerns, however, that in the intensity of Jesus' relationship to God as his father, we sense that something was lost between his cherished childhood and his emotionally deficient adulthood.
Miller thinks that it is related to the death of Joseph whilst Jesus was an early adolescent, depriving him of sustained and sustaining fatherly love and obstructing the usual Jewish role of the father in selecting a wife for his son. Thus, Miller sees in Jesus' baptism, and in the voice he heard affirming his status of beloved son of God, a spiritual crisis that Jesus was at some pains to understand. In his wilderness retreat Jesus sorted out what that divine affirmation implied regarding his vocation and his relationship to God as his father.
To be the authentic beloved Son of God, as Jesus is described as discerning it, meant being the Son of Man. In Second Temple Jewish tradition, the Son of Man was the revealer of the heavenly mysteries about God and God's relationship with the world.
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Those mysteries that he was to reveal, he realised, were the declaration of God's radical grace that had been previously revealed in the Abrahamic Covenant, but masked and eclipsed by the legalism of the Mosaic Covenant. Miller acknowledges, however, that throughout the gospel story Jesus is very much less emotionally connected to his mother than to his sense of his father.
The fact is that if we read the gospel narratives carefully, we must notice that Jesus is consistently abrupt, if not abusive, to his mother. In the temple at 12 years of age, at the wedding in Cana, and at Capernaum when his family comes for him, thinking him insane for calling himself the Messiah, Jesus is cryptically dismissive of his mother.
Miller is sure this is a consequence of his having become the 'man of the house' whilst still a mere child, after Joseph's untimely death. That would have made him responsible for the financial, social, emotional, and spiritual survival of the family. In mid-adolescence he would have been required to set his own interests and goals aside, bereft of close cherishing support of his father, and burdened and confused by an increasingly co-dependent mother.
This double bind, producing Jesus' diffidence regarding his mother, was then broken at his baptism by God's intervention in declaring him to be God's beloved son, not Joseph's or Mary's. This empowered his sense of independence in his own vocation. It is clear now why the words 'from heaven' immediately after the baptism, 'You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased,' reached him at the depths.
Jesus had found God and his father again. Simultaneously he found himself. Andries van Aarde's work, Fatherless in Galilee , also presents a startling set of insights into the person of Jesus as the literary figure in the narratives of the gospels. Van Aarde assumes that Jesus grew up fatherless in 1st-century Galilee and did not know who his biological father might have been. This status was both painful and shameful in his judgemental and unforgiving ethnic society, which would have denigrated him as a bastard. Such a state of affairs explains for Van Aarde why Jesus adopted God as his cherishing father and oriented his ministry on children, upon the disenfranchised, and upon the marginalised in society.
Moreover, in Mark Joseph has no role with regard to Jesus. There Jesus is referred to as the 'son of Mary' Mk ; , a practice in the Jewish community employed only when one has no father. Van Aarde thinks that Jesus had something of a father-son relationship with his cousin, John the Baptist.
He thinks this explains Jesus' desire to be baptised by John and thus cleansed of the feelings of defilement and shame imposed upon him by the denigrating community. By his baptism his marginalised position and his perceived epistemic sin, stemming from his illegitimacy, was removed. This was immediately certified by the voice of God declaring him God's beloved son.
With this new sense of having found his true father and his true forgiven self, Jesus took up his vocation to proclaim the reign of God, the invitation to trust in God, and the message of the forgiveness of sins. He gave this a practical application by continually pleading the cause of the fatherless and the widow, an injunction repeatedly set forth in the Mosaic literature of Exodus and Deuteronomy, but largely ignored in Israel, according to the Minor Prophets Am The strength of these three psychological studies lies in the light they shine upon the psychodynamic strains that quite obviously arise in the character development of Jesus, as literary personage, in the gospel stories.
That character's behaviour and message reflect psychological drivers in personality formation that shape how we should think of him. They shed light on how we should take his abuse of his mother, his friendship with the marginalised in his society such as thieves and whores, his frequent chiding of the wealthy and powerful during his visits with them, and his guerrilla war with the religious authorities.