This book is a good reality check. Have we built a counterfeit Jesus in our own hearts and minds, in our own image? Snyder reminds us that we are to be like Him, not make Him like us.
Snyder is quick to point out that we will never actually be like Jesus, but are we becoming like Jesus? We are all changing and becoming. Have we made the commitment to become like Jesus?
Snyder wants to make sure that we have the right idea of who Jesus is and how He acted. He explores a number of images of Jesus that have been created as a reflection on us, our lifestyle, our politics, and more. He helps us deconstruct those false images and construct the right one.
He asks some penetrating questions about our relationship with Jesus. He points out character traits and action of Jesus that may be surprising to some. He looks at Jesus' righteous anger. He notes, "So being like Jesus means getting angry at situations involving unfairness or inequality and being moved to act." With equal directness, he looks at real compassion, simple obedience, radical grace, and radical humility. He helps us understand how to go beyond just knowing the facts about Jesus to true life transformation through a relationship with Him.
I felt that hardly a page went by without my being challenged. For example, in the chapter about humility, Snyder writes, “Jesus made Himself nothing and then turned to us as His followers and said, 'Follow me. Follow me into obscurity. Follow me into selflessness. Follow me into an others-focused life. Follow me into my kingdom, the way is paved with radical humility.'” Ouch. And that is just one part of one chapter.
I highly recommend this book. It is a reality check and a challenge. It's a book one can read over and over again, renewing our passion for being like Jesus and having a relationship with Him. There are discussion questions included so this would be a great book to use as a group study.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Jamie Snyder is lead pastor of Lakeside Christian Church, where he preaches and reaches to thousands every week. He and his wife have three children and life in Kentucky.
David C Cook, 194 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review