Find your pur­pose in ‘The True Je­sus’

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - RE­BECCA HAGELIN Re­becca Hagelin can be reached at re­becca@re­bec­c­a­

Did you feel the earth move on Satur­day when the world’s old­est liv­ing per­son died? Nei­ther did I. Emma Mo­ran lived through 117 years of wars, in­ven­tions and chang­ing civ­i­liza­tions, and was un­doubt­edly loved by many in her na­tive Italy. She was also the last ver­i­fied sur­vivor of all hu­mans born in the 1800s.

Yet life rolls on for the rest of the world, not af­fected in the least by such a tremen­dous hu­man feat.

If you die last, you win; or at least that seems to be the logic when en­e­mies spar and na­tions war. You’ve prob­a­bly also heard the say­ing, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Is the num­ber of our days or the af­flu­ence therein re­ally all there is to life? If so, then our only hope is in our­selves and our pur­pose ends with our last breath.

Much of the way we view the world and in­ter­act with oth­ers is based on that self­cen­tered view. And many are largely shaped into it by our emo­tional re­ac­tions to what we read and hear through our con­sump­tion of hours of me­dia.

In­for­ma­tion comes to us at warp speed, and we do lit­tle to val­i­date its au­then­tic­ity. Scrolling through end­less web­sites or watch­ing tele­vi­sion, even “ed­u­ca­tional” or “news” pro­grams, is an in­ef­fi­cient way to gain real truth or de­velop a re­li­able pat­tern of un­der­stand­ing for our lives. But we just can’t seem to get our fill of that low-qual­ity “in­for­ma­tion.”

All the while, our Bi­bles sit dusty on our shelves, ig­nored and un­ex­am­ined, though they of­fer sub­stan­tive, his­tor­i­cally valid, life-al­ter­ing truth.

In his com­pelling new book, “The True Je­sus: Un­cov­er­ing the Divin­ity of Christ in the Gospels,” David Lim­baugh chal­lenges us to ex­am­ine Chris­tian­ity’s cen­tral fig­ure through the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — the men who wrote the first four books of the New Tes­ta­ment.

The bril­liance of Mr. Lim­baugh’s book is that it cre­ates a thirst for the Gospels them­selves.

“My goal is to in­tro­duce read­ers to the true Je­sus of the Gospels, not the Je­sus de­picted by the pop­u­lar cul­ture who is mil­que­toast, non­judg­men­tal and un­con­tro­ver­sial,” he told me. “I be­lieve if a per­son reads the Gospels with an open mind and open heart, he will en­counter the liv­ing Son of God. It is mind-blow­ing.”

Mr. Lim­baugh re­minds us that go­ing to the pri­mary source also frees us from hav­ing to rely on third- or fourth-per­son ac­counts, and from hav­ing to sort through other peo­ple’s spin and bi­ased opin­ions.

Those who earnestly study the books he points to will find that they pro­vide a wel­come re­lief to the mer­cu­rial slop of the in­ter­net. The truth of who Christ is and of what he means to our in­di­vid­ual lives awaits the reader through the liv­ing, breath­ing, pow­er­ful Word of God.

For those who might find it a bit in­tim­i­dat­ing to open the Bi­ble and just start read­ing, “The True Je­sus” paves the way for a ful­fill­ing and per­sonal ex­plo­ration of the Gospels. Mr. Lim­baugh in­cludes long dis­courses from Je­sus, 72 pages of well-re­searched and doc­u­mented end­notes, and com­men­tary on the con­text of vir­tu­ally ev­ery event and speech in the Gospels to help read­ers re­late to their sig­nif­i­cance.

“The New Tes­ta­ment presents Je­sus as God in the flesh, a hu­man be­ing who ful­fills the Old Tes­ta­ment prophe­cies, per­fects the Old Tes­ta­ment of­fices of prophet, priest and king, and be­comes the per­fect once-and-for-all sac­ri­fice and the cul­mi­na­tion of God’s sal­va­tion plan for mankind,” Mr. Lim­baugh says.

And that is enough to truly rock your world.

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