Jesus overturned tables in the temple. Jesus chastised the Pharisees. Jesus talked of a final judgment. Jesus expressed anger and grief. Wouldn’t it just be more comfortable to simply overlook these aspects of Jesus’ life? After all, we’d rather spend more time talking about the kind and loving Jesus and the Good News.
That is exactly Mark Galli’s point. Christians tend to focus on the ‘nice’ Jesus and avoid seeing the ‘mean’ Jesus. But Galli uses the Gospel of Mark to show that Jesus’ actions and words were not motivated by meanness, but rather by love. Jesus came to earth to be an example of holy living. So when confronted with situations contrary to His purpose, He could not let them go unchallenged. By closely examining what He said and how He acted, Christians can learn valuable lessons to apply to their lives.
God has always been difficult for man to understand. At times He draws close, and other times seems elusive, even occasionally withdrawing the sense of His presence. A life devoted to Christ can be demanding and difficult, but God’s wild and intense love for His children is unbounded.
Galli expertly uses a wide variety of illustrations and personal stories to show that Christians need to consider the vastness and complexity of God. Yes, He is unquestionably a God of love, but He is also a holy God, and a God of power and righteousness. Instead of trying to place limits on Him, Christians should embrace His many facets and realize that His own glory will always be His motivation. This would be a good book for group discussions, and a truly thought-provoking study guide is included. – Jeff Friend, Christian Book Previews.com
The contemporary church loves to paint Jesus as gentle, meek. . . nice. But in this striking new work, Mark Galli introduces us to a different sort of savior--one who often makes other people feel decidedly uncomfortable.
Focusing on Jesus as he is portrayed in Mark's Gospel, Galli unveils the power of Christ in his militancy-an aspect frequently ignored in many churches today. Through biblical episodes, stories of saints--classic and contemporary--personal snapshots, and discussion questions, Galli shows that Christ's deep love for his people is richer and more difficult than we imagine. But it is in this persistent, fearsome, untamed love that we can find true joy.