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Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ (Revised Edition) Paperback – June 14, 2004
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About the Author
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; This Momentary Marriage; A Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
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• The reason for "wasting" so much space on a universe to house a speck of humanity is to make a point about our Maker, not us.
• No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self.
• Christ does not exist in order to make much of us. We exist in order to enjoy making much of him.
• The greatest thing that can be said of Jesus' knowledge is that he knows God perfectly.
• In a sense, therefore, all sin is embezzling.
Finally, the book also makes use of one of my all-time favorite sermons, Jonathan Edwards’ sermon on the Lion and the Lamb. After discussing some of the content of Edwards’ sermon, Piper says, “This is what we long for-a champion, an invincible leader.” Indeed.
Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ is written in a devotional style. Piper continually quotes from Scripture as he writes, investing his work with authority.
There are two chapters that stood out especially for me. Chapter 7 speaks of the bad reputation that Jesus endured. So often I have only noticed the passages that speak of Jesus' enormous popularity in the Gospels. Piper reminded me that Christ's reputation was tarnished by the circumstances surrounding His own birth and by misunderstandings revolving around His association with sinners. Yet, Christ suffered these slanderous comments for our sake and for His own glory.
The second chapter that meant a lot to me personally was on the Severity of Jesus Christ. The tough portrait of Jesus is rarely portrayed in our churches, so it was good and healthy to remember the untamable Savior I serve.
I do not want to be a baby that can't handle solid food, but a grown-up who is able to take the healthy meat of the Word even when it does not go down as easily. Piper helped me to remember the importance of maintaining a teachable spirit. In seminary, this is of vital importance. Humility is difficult to maintain when you are in an institution that prizes knowledge, intellectual ability, and communication skills. If pride takes root now, it will grow into a bitter tree that God will have to chop down in due time. Piper's chapter on the severity of Christ reminded me of these lessons.
I enjoyed the final chapter, one that spoke about Jesus' return. Piper quotes so much Scripture in this chapter that it almost becomes a chain of Bible verses with only periodic interruptions from Piper's pen. I appreciated the author's love for Scripture and found myself enthusiastic and excited about Christ's second coming, as well as convicted over my lack of preparation. Too often, the lamps of my life are not lit and the candles are not burning.
I typically spend Advent preparing spiritually for Christ's Second Coming. Piper's chapter lit in me a passion for preparing constantly for Jesus' Coming, for indeed, it could be any day now.