Leonard Sweet has a casual, witty writing style that includes some thought provoking one-liners. I appreciated his look at Jesus through a different lens. This book doesn't focus on Jesus as a great Teacher, although He was. It doesn't emphasize how Jesus as a great Healer, although He was. This book isn't about how Jesus counseled or how He comforted. These are all wonderful characteristics and habits of Jesus, but Leonard Sweet chose to zero in on how culturally and socially disruptive (or at least unyielding to accepted standards) Jesus was- listing one after another the "bad" habits of a sinless man.
I found this book to be a quick read and was admittedly disappointed when the introduction shared that Sweet wrote the book in 6 weeks. Now, don't get me wrong, he is a talented writer, but I do believe had he taken longer on this project there would have been more meat to chew on while reading it. It is a good read and I think the general theme of it will stick with me longer than any particular takeaway. The concept that Jesus did not behave the way we'd likely expect our church leaders, friends, or even missionaries to is fascinating and calls for some reflection on how I view my own "Christian" life. I will stash it away on my bookshelf for my sons to read when they are in middle or high school.
The most creative acts in history are God-generated acts. It shouldn't surprise us that creative people are often chronic procrastinators. Creatives generate more ideas than they can pursue, which is one reason they are not the risk takers they are often made out to be. They tend to be cautious about the ideas on which they expend their energy. (pg. 18)
Jesus' prayer time was not alone time but Father time. He was always escaping into boats, up mountains, to the water, into the desert- anywhere to grab a moment with God. These were not retreats. These were advances. (pg. 47)
The tenor of culture has moved from the idea that everyone has a right to their own opinion to the idea that everyone's opinion is equally right. Jesus would not have made many friends with his claims and assertive manner- and he didn't. When Jesus begins citing Scripture, you know he's going to nail someone for something. (pg. 58)
The Greatest Story Ever Told was made to resonate God int he echoes of our souls. Faith is not "to live as if the Story is true." Faith is to stake your whole life on the knowledge that the Story is true. (pg. 78)
In the interest of full-disclosure, I received a copy of this book courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to give a positive review, my opinions are genuine.