This review appeared in the Apr-Jun 2009 vol. 166 no. 2 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
Jesus: The Greatest Life of AllThomas Nelson, Nashville April 1, 2008
In this ninth and final biographical study in the Great Lives from God's Word series, Swindoll takes his readers on a fascinating journey through the life of Jesus. This profile on His remarkable life discusses His deity, His astounding miracles, His provocative teachings, and His death and resurrection.
In typical Swindoll-style he paints this portrait of Christ with biblical clarity and historical insights. One note of interest is the author’s discussion of John 15:1–6, in which he rejects the view that a person who does not abide in fellowship with Christ was never a genuine believer in the first place. Instead a believer who is not abiding in Christ is unfruitful or useless, much like an unfruitful branch.
Swindoll includes several life-relevant principles from various aspects of Jesus’ ministry. For example he gives these lessons from the example of Judas: “association with godliness is no guarantee that we will become godly,” “moral corruption in secret is deadlier than visible moral corruption,” “Satan and his demons are looking for any opportunity to work against the Lord,” and “no sorrow can compare to the remorse of one who discovers too late that he’s misunderstood Jesus and spurned His love” (pp. 184–85). And these lessons come from Jesus’ postresurrection encounter with Peter: “when the Lord offers an opportunity to transform futility into fruitfulness, be open to change,” “when Jesus plans to move you into a new and challenging direction, expect a period of deep soul-searching,” and “when the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others” (pp. 271–72).
Longtime followers of Jesus and those who are curious about Him will both experience Jesus’ life in a fresh, life-changing way.
—Roy B. Zuck