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Drawn Into the Mystery of Jesus Through the Gospel of John Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Vanier exposes the heart of Jesus, from his communion with God, to bring us into that same circle of love. -- Sue Mosteller, Director, The Henri Nouwen Society

About the Author

Jean Vanier is the acclaimed author of many books on spirituality. He is the founder of L'Arche, communities where men and women with mental disabilities and their assistants create a home for one another.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809142961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809142965
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
This is a wonderful and insightful book.
Susan Hudacek
This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning (the introduction) and it will not let me go until I read the last page.
Suz
Jean Vanier is an inspiring author who gently develops the Gospel message from St John's time to challenge the modern reader.
Michael Fitzgerald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By wvano on September 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally a television script, this meditative commentary on the fourth gospel once again demonstrates that Jean Vanier is one of the most readable spiritual authors writing today.

The founder of the worldwide L'Arche communities has a rhetorical style that is simple and lyrical. But don't mistake that for superficiality. Vanier is proficient in Greek and has done his critical homework. Perhaps more importantly, his contemplative spirit deeply resonates with the Johannine text.

Section by section, he explores the rich symbolism and spirituality of the gospel, focusing on major themes such as human vulnerability, the compassion of Jesus, and the importance of service.

But the central message he finds is a universal call to communion in Jesus Christ. For Vanier, John's gospel invites everyone to fall more deeply in love with the Trinitarian God who loves them.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Butterfly Lady on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vanier's lyrical commentary on the soaring, poetic, sometimes cryptic gospel by Christ's beloved disciple does exactly what its title claims -- it draws you into the MYSTERY of Jesus! The Son of God IS a mystery -- loving, gentle, compassionate, intense, demanding, radical -- both completely human and completely divine at all times! To the extent that it is possible, St. John and Jean Vanier make Christ's ministry accessible and understandable on a profoundly spiritual level.

Unlike the other gospels, St. John begins with Christ's baptism by John the Baptiser and moves in a direct line to the cross and resurection. Every step of the way, Jean Vanier ties the gospel to the Old Testament, provides 1st century cultural and religious context, expounds on the multi-faceted meanings of the original Greek, and ties the message to our life and our culture -- to my life and my culture! And he does it with some of the most beautiful, heart-stopping, illuminating language I have ever read.

My copy is dog-eared and highlighted through and through. The language is beautiful and the message amazing in its simplicity and glory. I have many favorite quotes, but the one that may best encapsulate the message of the gospel is: "This journey, our pilgrimage of love, begins and deepens as we hear God murmur within our hearts: 'I love you just as you are. I so love you that I come to heal you and to give you life. Do not be afraid. Open your hearts. It is all right to be yourself. You do not have to be perfect or clever. You are loved just as you are. As you become more conscious that you are loved, you will want to respond to that love with love, and grow in love.'"

If you want an inspiring, challenging, enlightening commentary on the treasure at the heart of Christianity -- God's unconditional love and His gift of grace through Christ's sacrifice -- look no further.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Linda Conroy on May 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
In addition to the praise offered in the previous reviews, I wish to add that Jean Vanier's book on the Gospel of John has been the best material that I have come across in the last 20 years for use in an ecumenical bible study setting. We are using this book along with the DVD series entitled "The Knowing Eternity Collection" that is available through Title House e-Distribution or through Vision Video who sells the "Knowing Eternity" DVDs that cover the same material in Chapters 1 -10 in the book. Because Jean Vanier is a man of such deep integrity and visibly reflects in himself such a profound love for the Jesus revealed in the Gospel of John, our group finds that watching him on the DVD is just like having him in the room with us! We then spend the week in private reflection on the same chapter of the book that was presented on the DVD.

Even though Jean Vanier's insights are very accessible and relevant to 'ordinary' daily living I still find myself only reading a little each day because my whole being engages in what he says and it takes me time to digest it into my life. If I could, I would give this book to every single person in my life whether they are a 'practicing' Christian or not because I deeply trust that anyone engaged in the adventure of growing in an understanding of what it means to be fully human would be well served by encountering the 'earthy' wisdom contained in this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Hudacek on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful and insightful book. I have been in L'Arche for over 31 years, mostly in the US. I have not had the privilege of listening to Jean(our founder)speak to Long Term assistants in Trosly, France on this Gospel. I was privileged, however, to go with a group of English speaking assistants to the Holy Land where Jean gave reflections on the Gospel of Jean. It was an incredible 10 days but I was so awe struck by where we were, I could not retain all that was being said about this Gospel. This book has made that trip to the Holy Land come alive in ways it did not do when I was there. I use this for retreats and other times when we just want to read scripture. You won't be sorry to purchase this book. S. Hudacek
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Starr on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jean Vanier's meditation on the Gospel of St. John is almost as moving as the Gospel itself. Jean Vanier's life and work for Christ are interwoven into his excellent commentary. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who, like me, has had a life-long interest in and curiosity about this mystical Gospel.
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