Book Review: “The Man Christ Jesus”

In The Man Christ Jesus, Bruce Ware embarks on a journey to bring readers towards a fuller understanding of the humanity of Jesus Christ. The book starts from the birth of Jesus and ends in the resurrection and second coming of Christ. Ware highlights these significant moments and how the humanity of Christ is critical in comprehending the life and work of Christ. The content is very intriguing as Ware is able to pinpoint specific areas we often fail to address in our theological thought. At the end of each chapter, the author ends with application points and discussion questions. Both of these elements are useful in helping the reader solidify the concepts of the chapter and link these truths in a practical way. I have never read Ware’s books but I have listened to his lectures and the passion he has in his talks are just as evident in his writing.

Indeed, we are often quick to point out that Jesus is the Son of God but less likely to emphasize that He is also the Son of Man. For example, Ware brings up the question of whether Christ’s temptations were genuine and that He could actually be tempted. When I encountered this issue in the past, I simply point out that Jesus is God and it would be impossible for Him to succumb to any temptation lodged against Him. However, Ware states that for the temptations to be genuinely effective, the possibility for Christ to fall into the temptation must exist. Thus, it is the humanity of Christ that is being tested in the wilderness. Christ prevailed in the end not because of His divinity (although He is God and thus cannot sin) but in His humanity, of which Jesus emerged victorious. How is He able to do so? Ware asserts that it is the continuous filling of the Holy Spirit by which Jesus was able to counter Satan’s attacks. Christ’s example then becomes a source of encouragement to us as believers in that temptations can indeed be overcome if we are constantly indwelt and filled by the Spirit. Throughout the book, Ware reminds Christians that Christ did not simply come as God but took on human form to become the God-man of which he remains forever. Christ’s humility and obedience is therefore an example of how Christians should live now that Christ has overcome sin and death and the Holy Spirit is made available to believers.

I would recommend this book to Christian who wants a deeper understanding on the humanity of Christ. The language is suitable for laypeople and Ware takes much effort in guiding readers through his logic step-by-step. This book would be especially helpful to those who have been Christians for some time but have forgotten the beautiful and awesome truth that Christ has become man for us. Ware’s words are timely and encouraging for those who may have become discouraged over time as life’s worries and setbacks have mounted up. We are reminded that we have a Redeemer who knows our needs, temptations, and struggles as He experienced it Himself through the Incarnation and the cross as both fully God and man.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.

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