Zondervan, 2017. 224 pp.
Christian Life, Spiritual Growth, Religion
Jesus has often been interpreted from the perspective of a sterile Western cultural mindset. An examination of Jesus in a Jewish Culture reignites an understanding of difficult biblical passages as well as bringing alive obscure biblical passages and meanings.
The Forgotten Jesus begins with an uncovering of Jesus in the Old Testament, showing prefiguring of Jesus along with prophetic threads related to Jesus. As we turn to the New Testament, John the Baptist is seen as the precursor for Jesus, while pushing Jesus to act dramatically. Jesus lives within the usual growth cycle of boys to men, his unveiling in the temple at 12 years of age being an indication of his mission for life – while the breaking out into full vocation was typically begun at 30 years of age.
Gallaty explains that Jesus was physically unassuming, a stone mason (rather than what we think of as a “carpenter”), a man of the oppressed, lowly and dejected. Jesus stood against the religious corruption of his day while maintaining a purity of life and ministry. Within the strong religious inculcation of the Jewish cultural system, Jesus’ teachings carry a depth beyond what a 21st Century reader would see. He is clearly seen as the Messiah who proclaims a coming Kingdom.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Gallaty carries a pastor’s heart. He is a storyteller. You can preach this book.
You will find that difficult passages of Scripture come alive with a new perspective. If nothing else, this book will push you to think creatively within the bounds of research and historical understandings.
The writing style is easy to follow, and contains the story of Jesus within an easy to follow outline. You can pass this on to your parishioners/congregation—they will be thankful for the historical settings that are explained, as well as for the prompting that Gallaty gives to look at living in the truth of Jesus, the Messiah.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
Lifeway Pastors review by Ron Baker.