In The Jesus You Can't Ignore, John MacArthur, noted teacher and author, tackles the dilemma facing many in Christian leadership positions: how does one disagree without being disagreeable? Should one disagree? Should one be disagreeable? What would Jesus do?
That last question “What would Jesus do?” is the crux of the entire volume. MacArthur is quick and careful to point out that Jesus responded to those with differing positions not with gentleness or quiet discussion but with confrontational clarity. No one ever left a conversation with Jesus without knowing clearly where He stood on an issue. If you differed in your opinion from His, He was careful to point out where and why there was a difference; and you were called to repent from your position and return to a position of Truth.
Truth with a capital “T” is paramount to this discussion. MacArthur is careful to delineate the reasons for the existence of Truth that is absolute, not relative. There are a set of standards by which one can and should be measured. The loving model of Jesus is not to embrace all positions as though Truth did not and does not matter; it is to carefully confront those opposed to Truth and seek to return to a humble following of Truth as He lays it out.
MacArthur carefully proceeds through the life and ministry of Jesus, showing how His repeated confrontations with the religious leaders of the day were carefully crafted to highlight the areas they had strayed from and perverted the Truth. Jesus does not waltz through the gospels like Caspar Milquetoast; He cuts a path of careful clarity and confrontation of error. The Jesus of the gospels does not dialogue in cafes, He declares on the corners the error of those opposed to Truth.
The question remains: was Jesus "nice?" Not by modern definitions. To many, He was insulting, confrontational, harsh, in-your-face, and blunt. Was Jesus kind? Absolutely! The problem is that modern society has confused kindness with nicety. You will search in vain for one command to “be nice” but Scripture contains many pronouncements to “be kind.” Which is more Christlike?
MacArthur’s conclusion is that those who would live to emulate Jesus’ actions must still be engaged in spiritual combat. As soldiers, some fighting is expected. The battle for Truth continues. One must not ignore or conciliate the enemy. The enemy is to be addressed and exposed. Truth matters. Truth must not be ignored. That is why Jesus could not be ignored in His day. That is why Jesus must not be ignored in our day, either. – Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Meek and mild. Politically correct. A great teacher. These are the popular depictions of Jesus. But they aren't the complete picture. Maybe because it's uncomfortable, or maybe because it's inconvenient, Christians and non-Christians alike are overlooking the fierceness of the Savior, His passionate mission to make the Gospel clear and bring people into the Kingdom of God. A mission that required he sometimes raise his voice and sometimes raise a whip.
In the much-needed message in The Jesus You Can't Ignore, renowned Bible teacher and best-selling author John MacArthur reintroduces the compelling and often unsettling passion of Jesus' ministry. MacArthur points to the picture of the real Jesus the world is so eager to gloss over. And he calls readers to emulate Jesus' commitment to further the kingdom by confronting lies and protecting the truth of God.