Author: Scot McKnight
Review By: G. Stephen Goode
From the Preface :
“A Jewish expert on the law once asked Jesus what was the most important thing for spiritual formation. Jesus’ answer turned history upside down for those who followed him. This book is an invitation for you to explore Jesus’ answer to that man. I call it the Jesus Creed, and what he said should shape everything we say about Christian spirituality. Everything.”
Jesus knows what life is all about. He was born into a Jewish family and culture but he was more than Jewish. He took the Shema which was central to Judaism but he added to it to make it the Jesus Creed. It is simple, yet it will cost us our lives, living it out. Love God. Love others. It is central to who Jesus was and is the core of who we should/can become. Jesus gave us the Creed.
McKnight is a Old Testament scholar but he does not write like one. I have to admit that I sought out this book because of the loving others part. I think we in the church should be doing that better and more often in order to demonstrate the love of God to the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist and other unreached worlds. It also has to be integrated. Loving God and Loving others is like a coin. You cannot have one side without the other and yet it seems like we continue to get pulled from one side or another. God help us.
This book helped me a great deal. Compassion in the Jesus Creed is on every page of this book just like it is in the four Gospels. I think we forget that sometimes but Jesus did not. That is why He made it the center.
From page 117:
“Jesus doesn’t act in compassion in order to dazzle people into adoring him. He acts out of love and to transform the life of the grieving person. The widow gets her son back and has an income again. The prostitute’s life is transformed from impurity to purity. Each woman of Luke 8 – Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and others – has a special story to tell about what Jesus has done: one tells a story of spiritual cleansing, another of physical healing, and others(if I may guess) of learning that Roman money is to be distributed to the needy, including Jesus. Wealthy women at the time of Jesus— and these women were evidently wealthy — did not pay taxes. Instead, if they had good hearts, they distributed their funds to charities. The chosen charity of these women was Jesus, whom they support and follow his entire life. It is these same women who become witnesses of Jesus’ death and resurrection......”
So may we continue to love God and others and fulfill the Jesus Creed.