A New York Times Best-Seller!
Jesus is ____. How would you finish thatsentence?
The subjectis there, and so is the verb, but what comes next? Your answer could shed lighton the path to becoming who you were made to be.
In thesepages, Judah Smith fills out that sentence again and again, each time furtherrevealing the character of Jesus. He writes as if to a friend, illustrating theimportance of Christ’s message to modern men and women. This is a book for newbelievers, for lifelong followers, and for the merely curious.Judah Smith shows us the Jesus that somber paintingsand hymns fail to capture. With passion, humor, and conviction, he shows thatJesus is life. Jesus is grace. Jesus is your friend. Jesus is a new and betterway to be human.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Judah Smith is the lead pastor of Churchome, formerly named the City Church. Churchome is a thriving multisite church noted for its cultural relevance, commitment to biblical integrity and faith, and love for Jesus. Judah is known around the United States and the world for his preaching ministry. His fresh, practical, humorous messages demystify the Bible and make Christianity real. Judah is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book Jesus Is _____ and coauthor of I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook.
Read an Excerpt
JESUS IS ______.FIND A NEW WAY TO BE HUMAN
By JUDAH SMITH
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2013 Judah Smith
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSuperbad or Sortabad
"If God can help so-and-so, he can help anyone!"
I've heard myself say it a few times. "So-and-so" is always a reference to skilled sinners, famous for their proficiency in wrongdoing. They are awesome at sin, they sin a lot, and they enjoy their sin.
"Did you hear? That actress got another divorce. That's five failed marriages and this marriage only lasted three months. Man, if God could get her straightened out, he could help anybody!"
"That leader calls himself a Christian, but can you believe what he was involved in? He should be ashamed of himself. If God can help him, he can help anybody!"
Let's be honest. Mostly good people like to look down on mostly bad people. We enjoy the feelings of condescending pity or self-righteous outrage. We gleefully hold up notorious evildoers as marvels of depravity, examples of just how bad people can get. Then we finish off our lattes, load our 2.2 children into our almost-paid-off SUVs, and head off to contribute to society.
Notice how I just included myself in the "mostly good" category. I didn't think about it. I just did it.
That's what bothers me the most.
The Badness Scale
The problem with the "if God can save ..." statement is that it implies a rating system for sins. It's an unspoken, often culture-driven, and arbitrary badness scale (or goodness scale, depending on whether we are rating others or ourselves).
On our scale, we label small sins, medium-small sins, medium sins, medium-large sins, large sins, extra-large sins, and supersized sins. If we see someone with small to medium sins, we think, He's a pretty good person. He's fairly sound and engaged morally. He's obviously close to Jesus. It won't be hard for God to get a hold of him.
Then we see someone with medium to large sins, and we get more nervous. We really have to pray for her. Her life is going downhill fast. God is going to have to get her attention the hard way. She really needs to work on fixing herself so she can get closer to God.
When we come across a supersize sinner, someone who commits the big sins, we just shake our heads in hyperpious pity.
Nowhere in the Bible, however, do we find God distinguishing between levels of sin. God doesn't share our rating system. To him, all sin is equally evil, and all sinners are equally lovable. Obviously sins have different consequences: some will get you incarcerated or your face punched in, while others won't even be noticed. But God just calls sin, sin.
Zacchaeus the Gangster
Jesus didn't have a rating system for sin, either. He was willing to accept anyone, to love anyone. Nowhere is this more evident than in the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector.
I should mention up front that when I read Bible stories, all the main characters have accents. That's just how my mind works. Concentration has never been my strong suit, and I suspect the accents are a desperate ploy sponsored by my brain to keep me focused.
Zacchaeus, in my mind, was a bit of a gangster. If you can't read his dialogue with a bit of swagger, you and I are not going to connect very well for the next few pages. You may need to listen to a few hip-hop albums and try again.
In case you aren't familiar with the story, Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Actually, he was a chief tax collector. He was also really short. That's important.
Here's the story, straight from the Bible:
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today."
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. "He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!"
Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost." (Luke 19:1–10)
Interesting backstory: Israelites of Jesus's day looked at tax collectors as thieves and pimps. Tax collectors were Jews who worked for the Roman government, which ruled Israel at the time. Their job was to collect taxes from their own people and hand the money over to the hated foreign power. Their own income came from whatever they could get out of people after they met Rome's quota. So Zacchaeus and his fellow tax-collecting traitors would make up tax amounts on the fly. Zacchaeus was a professional cheat, an embezzler. He took money from little old ladies. He was a thief.
I think Zacchaeus was up on pop culture, by the way. I think he liked making appearances; he liked being in on the action. When they rolled out the red carpet and the cameras showed up, Zacchaeus was going to be there, a lady on each arm, looking over his sunglasses at the crew from TMZ. "Hey y'all." When he gave press conferences, he talked about himself in the third person.
Zacchaeus was a short guy, but don't be deceived by his stature. He had a lot of money. At some point, years before, he had been recruited by the Romans. He was probably a bit of a prodigy. He would have started out as an assistant to a tax collector. After proving his worth, he would have been promoted to tax collector. Ultimately, when we find him in this story, he has become the chief tax collector. He probably oversees an entire tax district and a gang of mini tax collectors who give him a cut of their take.
This makes Zacchaeus a major reject. He is infamous, legendary, notorious. How long has he been doing this? Five years? Longer than that—he's a chief tax collector. Ten years? Twenty?
I don't think he minds being hated. In fact, I think he's loving life. He's up in his big house overlooking the city, lounging in his infinity pool, with servants fanning him and dropping grapes in his mouth.
Everybody fears him now. Sure, they hate him—but at least they respect him. Back in elementary school, nobody picked the short guy. But now, they're afraid of the little man. Zacchaeus is the big guy on the block.
Rumor was, Jesus might be the promised Messiah. Zacchaeus had grown up in the Jewish culture, and he would have been familiar with the prophecies. No doubt he had heard that one day there would come a Messiah. Now Jesus is coming through town, and Zacchaeus says, "I'm gonna check this guy out. He's getting a lot of followers; a lot of guys are talking about him. I'm curious."
I doubt Zacchaeus was thinking, Man, I sure hope Jesus saves me. Saves him from what? His big house? All the ladies who love him?
No, he just wanted to check out the popular guy. Zacchaeus was all about status. You don't become a tax collector and then a chief tax collector and not like money and status. He was famous in a negative sense, but famous nonetheless.
Jesus starts strolling through. People are lining the streets, trying to catch a glimpse of him, and Zacchaeus realizes he can't see over the crowd. This is jacked up, he says to himself. I'm not gonna be able to see this dude.
Zacchaeus is an innovative guy who is used to getting his way. So he hitches up his blinged-out robe and runs ahead, gold chains clanking, and climbs a sycamore tree.
Sure enough, he can see the dust cloud and all the people clumped around Jesus. You'd think he was Justin Bieber or something. He's rolling down the street, and suddenly—Zacchaeus can't believe his luck—he stops right next to the little man's tree.
This is dope, he's thinking. I can check this guy out from up here; maybe listen in on what he's got to say.
Then, to Zacchaeus's surprise, Jesus looks up at him. He calls him by name. "Zacchaeus."
"Whaaaa? How do you know me? I don't know you. Who told you about me?"
They say the sweetest sound to a human being's ears is the sound of his or her own name. God calls this rejected, hardened, selfish man by his name: "Zacchaeus, hurry down! I'm heading over to your house—right now."
"You are? Uh, okay. Yeah."
Zacchaeus is relishing the moment. All the upstanding religious Jews want a minute with Jesus, a nod, a handshake. Yet now, the chief tax collector—the biggest bad guy around—gets a personal invitation. I think he's looking at everyone saying, "Whassup now, y'all?" He sends word to all his cronies and tax collector minions to come over and meet this Jesus. This is his moment in the limelight.
"I'm Changing Everything"
But that afternoon, something unexpected and unexplainable began to happen in Zacchaeus's heart. How long did he have an audience with the living God? Two hours? Four hours? We don't know. What did they talk about? We can only guess.
We can assume that they ate a meal together and Jesus probably listened a lot. Zacchaeus must have thought, Nobody listens to me, except for a few guys who work for me. But this guy cares. He listens. He gets it.
I can imagine Zacchaeus looking into the most compassionate eyes he's ever seen and thinking, Does Jesus know who I am? Does he know who is around my dinner table? Does he know what we do for a living? Does he know what paid for his fish? Does he know how I paid for this house? He must ... but he doesn't reject me.
After a few hours with Jesus, Zacchaeus can't contain himself any longer. Abruptly, he stands up, seemingly overwhelmed with who this Jesus is. In front of family, peers, and employees, he blurts out, "I'm changing everything!"
"I'm changing everything, Jesus. I'm gonna start giving my money away. In fact, anyone I've ever cheated, I'm gonna give them back four times what I stole."
The callous, money-hungry mob boss is about to go broke, and he doesn't even care. A moment with Jesus changed everything.
I wonder what Jesus said in one short afternoon that changed a lifelong taker into a lavish giver. But that's not the point of this passage. I think the Bible skips over what they talked about because we'd try to turn it into a recipe or a program. It wasn't what Zacchaeus talked about—it was the person he talked about it with. It was about being with Jesus.
What changed Zacchaeus? Biblical principle? Personal devotion? Religious duty and deeds? No—just a few moments with God in the flesh. We don't even have a record of anyone telling Zacchaeus he needed to repent or give the money back. But something came over this man when he encountered Jesus.
The truth is, I am Zacchaeus. I may not be short in stature, but I'm short spiritually, in my own ability and my own capacity. Even if I want to get to Jesus, even if I want to see Jesus, I can't see past myself. I can't see past my sin, past my distractions, past my ego.
How do we try to reach Jesus? We run faster and we climb proverbial trees of religious actions. We think, I'll get to Jesus. I'll impress Jesus with who I am.
I believe most people have a sense of inadequacy and failure deep within themselves. No matter how hard they try or what they accomplish, they know they are in a dark place. They are short in a spiritual sense. They have sinned and come short of God's glorious standard. So they think, I'll run faster, I'll run ahead, I'll find a tree and climb it, and I'll get God's attention.
As if your running and your climbing is what gets God's attention!
That's not what saved Zacchaeus. It was God's mercy. It was God's grace. It was God's initiative.
We think God stops and takes notice of us because he sees us up in our cute sycamore trees. We think it is because we are so good. "See, I got God to notice. You see me? It's because I pray so loud, because I pray so much, because I attend church."
But that's not why Jesus stopped that day. He stopped of his own choosing. He stopped because he's gracious and he's good. He stopped because he knew Zacchaeus by name, just as he knows me and knows you.
Jesus told Zacchaeus to hurry, and he tells us the same thing. "Hurry down from religion. Hurry down from traditions. Quit trying to pick yourself up. Only my grace can save you. Come down, and come now. Don't spend another moment or another day trusting yourself. I need to be with you today."
While Zacchaeus spoke, Jesus must have been smiling to himself. But now he makes an announcement of his own. "Today, salvation has come to this house. Zacchaeus is a son of Abraham, a true Jew."
Zacchaeus is stunned. He is the quintessential traitor, the bad guy, the antithesis of a good Jew. For as long as he can remember, he's been on the outside looking in. Now he's on the inside? Now he's a good guy?
I wish I could have seen the look on his friends' faces. If there's hope for Zacchaeus, there must be hope for me too!
Then Jesus summed up his life mission: "I'm here to find and help lost people. That's why I've come."
The Pharisees thought the Messiah was only coming for the chosen few, for the sanctified few, for the religious few. But Jesus said over and over that he came for the broken, the bad, the addicted, the bound, the deceived, the lost, the hurting.
Sometimes we are a lot like Zacchaeus. We've been at this sin thing for a long time. We have problems, weaknesses, and propensities toward doing wrong. We've gotten a little scarred and numb to the whole thing—maybe even outright cynical. We are helpless, hopeless. Even Jesus couldn't set me free, we think. After all, we've tried as hard as we can and nothing has changed. He wouldn't see anything worth saving in us anyway.
Maybe it's a secret sin: an affair eight years ago that not even your spouse knows about. Maybe it's something that controls your life, like alcoholism or some other addiction. People have told you you'll never change, and you're starting to believe them.
Jesus is not your accuser. He's not your prosecutor. He's not your judge. He's your friend and your rescuer. Like Zacchaeus, just spend time with Jesus. Don't hide from him in shame or reject him in self-righteousness. Don't allow the opinions of other people to shape your concept of him. Get to know him for yourself, and let the goodness of God change you from the inside out.
Chapter TwoDark Side
Zacchaeus wasn't the only tax collector to have his world rocked by Jesus. There was also Matthew. Matthew was one of Jesus's disciples, and the book he wrote describes many key events in the three-plus years of Jesus's ministry.
Matthew's first encounter with Jesus reveals that when it comes to sinners, God has two categories. Just two. Matthew 9:9–13 says,
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with such scum?"
When Jesus heard this, he said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do." Then he added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.' For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."
Two Kinds of Sinners
Like Zacchaeus, Matthew was a tax collector. Everywhere he went, he was hated, feared, and rejected. Until he met Jesus. Matthew never forgot the inexplicable willingness of this man to look past his occupation and to see him as a person.
In Jesus's conversation with Matthew, he lumps all of humanity into two groups: people who think they are righteous and people who know they are sinners.
That's it. No sliding scale, no grading on the curve, no relative goodness or subjective labels. We either pretend we don't need him or we acknowledge we do.
The common denominator is that we all need help. The catch is that we don't all admit it. Rather than realizing everyone is in this together, that we are all in need of help, we often prop up our self-esteem by looking at people who do supposedly worse things than us.
We need to abandon our scale and adopt God's because our misguided labels keep us from the right kind of interaction with people. We assume we know where they are on the rating scale, and we assume we know whether they are ready or not to hear about Jesus and give their lives to God.
In reality, for many people, the greatest hindrance to receiving the grace of God is not their scandalous sins—it's their empty good deeds.
It's obvious some people have problems. But for the man who lives in his two-story home on a quiet cul-de-sac, keeps his lawn manicured and his cars washed, stays faithful to his wife, works hard at his job, pays his bills, and never cheats on his taxes—for that model citizen, it's not so obvious. He might compare his goodness to others' badness and think, I'm a morally sound person. I'm doing pretty well. I don't need help.
Our superficial labeling system also guarantees that we will never find freedom ourselves. It takes courage and humility to recognize we are as messed up as the drug addict next door, and many of us never get that honest with ourselves. If we can't be honest with ourselves, we'll never be honest with God. We'll continue to whitewash our dark sides and flaunt our good deeds, and nothing will ever change.
"Hi. I Hate You."
Jesus befriended sinners like Zacchaeus and Matthew; and the Pharisees especially couldn't handle that. Pharisees were the spiritual teachers of the day. They were experts in Jewish religious law—a set of hundreds of man-made rules that attempted to apply the Ten Commandments to everyday life. They had regulations for everything from washing hands to tying loads onto camels.
When we find Pharisees in the Bible, they are usually doing one thing: pointing out sinners. Condemning people was part of their daily routine. They had made careers out of ridiculing broken souls. It was the ultimate job security.
Excerpted from JESUS IS ______. by JUDAH SMITH Copyright © 2013 by Judah Smith. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Jesus is Your Friend
1 Superbad or Sortabad 3
2 Dark Side 13
3 Friend of Sinners 21
Jesus is Grace
4 Embrace Grace 35
5 Grace Is a Person 49
6 Leaving Worthy World 65
Jesus is the Point
7 Come to Me 85
8 The Meaning of Life 103
Jesus is Happy
9 Good News of Great Joy 117
10 With Us and For Us 133
Jesus is Here
11 The One You Love 143
12 It Is Well 153
Jesus is Alive
13 Real Life 167
14 Zombie Jesus 177
15 New Way to Be Human Conclusion: Jesus Is 199
About the Author 203
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book beautifully points the reader to Jesus. It is simple, yet profound. Thought provoking yet an easy read. I found that the true beauty of the book is that it is written to each of us: the self-righteous, the broken, the religious, the skeptic, the mature, you, me, everyone. The book discusses the character and nature of Jesus. As a believer in Christ, I found myself challenged and encouraged to evaluate the way I represent Jesus. Far too often, as we grow closer to the Lord, we forget how to relate to people far from God. It is a must read, for everyone.
Jesus Is __________. Find A New Way to be Human By Judah Smith is a new book written for today's modern generation. This book introduces both the non believing reader as well as the Christian to a new way of thinking about Jesus and His purpose. This book challenges the strongly held traditions and misconceptions about Jesus that many people hold onto. As the title indicates, the author, a young pastor of a large church, invites the reader to think about who Jesus is and what Jesus means. The reader is challenged to fill in the blank with what he or she feels Jesus means. Additionally, Smith takes the reader on a journey that focuses on the traits of Christ and how the reality of Jesus as depicted in the bible stands in direct opposition to the myths that society and traditional religions have created. For example the author points out that "in reality, for many people, the greatest hindrance to receiving the grace of God is not their scandalous sins- it's their empty good deeds". (page 15) I am sure that many readers will be offended by this confrontation. Nevertheless its the truth that Jesus taught- about salvation based on grace and not works. Smith continues on, by using biblical passages and stories to illustrate the concepts and points. For example, he provides several examples from the gospels where repentant sinners such as tax collectors were justified in contrast to the hypocritical Pharisees. The book is divided into several sections based on a specific trait of Jesus in which The Jesus Is _______ (blank) is filled with a specific adjective. For example, the blank is filled with the following adjectives and descriptions: friend, grace, point, happy, here and alive. Each trait is covered by three chapters for clarity. In a personal tone, Smith actually speaks to the reader in easy to understand language that is true to biblical teaching. he combination of biblical accuracy as well as the personal conversational tone is sure to draw in readers of all ages: believers and nonbelivers alike. In fact, the format of the book encourages the reader to fill in the blanks with his own options as well- as the adjectives listed by Smith are just the beginning of the possibilities. As a blogger for booksneeze I received this book published by Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.
This book will leave you asking that question. It's simple, and yet sometimes its the first thing that we forget. Who Jesus really is. I love how quickly I can pick up this book and delve into it and get so much out of it. It's packed with biblical truths that will leave you wanting more of Jesus. I picked it up the other day and couldn't put it down. I promise you if you are questioning your faith, or who Jesus is...pick this book up. You'll love it! It's my prayer that as you read it you will grow in your walk with the Lord, and truly be an example to the world of who Jesus Is...
An absolute must read. Pastor Judah Smith examines Jesus from every possible angle. Giving common misconceptions while pointing the readers to the truth of who Jesus really is. This book brought me back to the joy of my salvation.
Today there are so many books about Jesus, but to me, this one is the most thought-provoking book about Jesus. Judah Smith makes it clear that, as Christians, we need to have a clear understanding of Jesus. In the journey together with Judah Smith, Judah Smith does an incredible job of focusing on WHO JESUS IS. And in this process I was thoroughly engaged in the discussion. Jesus is _____ leaves room for the readers to think about who He is in their personal lives. The book, then, begins to uncover the main character, giving attributes and examples to show Jesus. In doing so, Judah also reveals the common misconceptions about Jesus, and uses examples from the Bible to depict a clear picture of who Jesus REALLY is. He is very clear in narrating the story of Jesus. With a casual tone, the readers can easily fall into the book and read, as it is not a hard read. Judah Smith does a great job in incorporating the truths from the Bible with other stories and application. Personally, I have enjoyed reading this book, because there is so much truth in the book. I have been convicted AND encouraged by Judah's descriptions of Jesus. There is certainly a lot to learn in this journey to finding Jesus, and it is a great journey to be on.
Very seldom do I pick up a book and read it within the week of purchase. My ADD and note-taking OCD never make for a good combo while reading. However, it was different with Jesus Is… as I found it onerous to put the book down. The ‘swagger,’ as Smith calls it, writing style seen throughout Jesus Is… makes for an easy, but yet, thoughtful read. Jesus Is… is meant for a simple read because everything should be simple, even following Jesus. Jesus Is…is broken down into six sections: Jesus is Your Friend, Jesus is Grace, Jesus is The Point, Jesus is Happy, Jesus is Here, and Jesus is Alive. Using stories from scripture and his own personal life, Smith uses each section to address certain issues. From the loss of a loved one to the exhausted individual, there is a section all can relate to. Smith uses this personal connection to engage the audience on who Jesus is, why Jesus is, and what Jesus is. In doing so, Smith gives the reader an understanding of how deep Christ’s love is for each of us. This is a worthy read and one that I will probably read again. It gave me clarity on some issues and provided me with reassurance on the love Jesus has for me, the exhausted sinner. I hope this book opens your eyes as much as it did mine. We are called to follow Jesus, to evangelize and spread the Good News. But we are not called to exhaust ourselves while doing so.
Have you ever wanted to hang out with Jesus? What would it be like to just chill with jesus? Would it be like sitting in a church with the wooden pews, the stain glass windows and a Gigantic Jesus action figure hanging by cords from the ceiling? or would it be like hangin out with a good friend. a best friend. I vote the latter. In Jesus Is _____. Judah Smith paints a picture of Jesus Christ that is contrary to popular belief. (the guy who never smiles in the pictures You see on the internet, or the big guy upstairs with a halo creating rules for mankind) Thats not it at all. By going through the bible, Judah Points us towards Jesus, as a friendly person, who loves us, wants to hang out with us, and show us his mercy, his love, his grace and abundantly more than this. It does not matter who you are, what you have done, Jesus is for you. This is a book that you will never regret buying. No matter who you are. @Judahsmith writes in such a way where it is easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to get to know Jesus for yourself. As I was reading this, I laughed, I cried, but most importantly, i had a better understanding of who Jesus Is to me. #Jesus Is the point of life. @Judahsmith Pick up this book. it's a must have.
I read this book every year and every time I read it, Jesus reveals himself in a new way. I love the way Judah writes! Cannot wait to read more books by him.
A must read!
This has been the most enjoyable book i have read in a while. All the quoted scripture verses are actually provided for you right there when you actually need them. No stopping to go look anything up. Nice. And Jesus is the answer how often I need to be reminded.
I really enjoyed this book. The author really expressed how Jesus is full of grace and mercy without holding back truth. When you read about Jesus in the bible he talked to those who are in need of a Savior(as we all are)he used two things Grace and Truth. This book points that out. A great read of our Lord and Savior; Jesus.
I lve this book
Im only in chapter 4 but ive been so blessed by it already. The book is pretty blunt (not a sugar-coated message) but its necessary. Ch 1-eyes wide open; ch 2-realizations made abt myself; ch 3-repenting; ch 4-crying! I think every church or small group should do a study on this book...it can only help.
Amazing book! Love the way Judah writes. So many nuggets I will treasure forever!
This book is great! I would recommend it to anyone. The content is fantastic.
I received an advance copy of this book and once I started reading it I could not stop. It's a unique book in as much as it manages to speak to to all people at various walks of their faith. You can read this book if you're an unbeliever, a new believer or someone who has been in the Christian faith for years. One thing Judah Smith does so effortlessly is deliver the message of Jesus in such a simple yet profound way. When you read the book you feel as though you're speaking to a friend. You feel as though Judah is sitting in the room having a casual conversation with you. Judah Smith reminds me of that friend we all have. He's fun to be around, he's chatty, he's jokey but once you enter a deep conversation with him, he effortlessly makes profound statements which make you gasp, nod voraciously and change opinions you may have held for years. He describes the concepts of grace and love with a combination of such ease and depth. As you read the book, you feel as though Judah has written a book about his best friend and can't wait to tell you how amazing he is! Which is exactly what he's done. His excitement about his personal relationship with Jesus is so evident throughout the book that you can't help but want to know more about Jesus. Then as you read you begin to discover exactly why Judah is so excited about Jesus. Each title is titled Jesus is _____ with a word filling the gap, which made the book easier to read, as it came across as a collection of short stories compiled to piece together one bigger story. Each chapter stands alone in describing Jesus, yet combined they all fit together to give the reader an understanding of Jesus' purpose on earth, his divinity and his role in our lives. Personally, my favourite chapter was 'Jesus is Happy'. It made me smile. It made me laugh. And it made me realise that above all, Jesus was happy because of us, because he's proud of us, because he cares for us; because he loves us. I would recommend this book to everyone and anyone. There is absolutely no-one,in my opinion, who would not have something to gain from reading this book. So if you're looking for a book about Jesus not drenched in complex theological terms but simply introducing you to Jesus, go for this one! You'll laugh a lot reading this book. A heck of a lot. But more importantly, you'll get to know more about Jesus than you probably ever thought possible.
-I had the privilege of reading "Jesus Is ___ ." a few weeks before the official release date and I was completely in awe of the Revelation that Pastor Judah had for his audience. It's a book for Veteran Believers and the fresh Christian alike. And what's even better, a reader with no knowledge of Jesus or a Doubter of Christianity, would walk away with a clear understanding of the Gospel, and why we as Christians put our Faith in God. Pastor Judah opens up his life and shows us the things We All struggle with, but never talk about. I laughed more than a handful of times while getting into this great book... Pastor Judah is a comedian, but I don't think he can help it, which makes it funnier. I encourage any and all to read this book. It is an awesome companion to your Bible. It will bless you in ways you can not imagine. What do I mean? Well, I was inspired to write a song after reading this book. What will this book inspire you to do?
I received a copy of JESUS IS __________: FIND A NEW WAY TO BE HUMAN by Judah Smith from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. The foreword is by Bubba Watson. It is a great way to open the novel. It really spoke to me, as a human, with its strong, down-to-earth quality. In it, Bubba mentions connecting with Judah via Twitter. My literary agent has been pushing me to become more involved in social media. The foreword proves again how you can build an audience for yourself using Twitter, and other online sources. JESUS IS __________ tells the story of Jesus in different lights, such as “Jesus is your friend” and “Jesus is grace.” Each section starts off with “Jesus is ______” and the rest of the sentence is filled in using a different font. The sections are quick and easy to read. I shared this with family, who also found great enlightenment. In our hearts, we know how to live meaningful lives, but sometimes it takes someone telling us for it to really sink in. On page fifty-eight, Judah Smith says, “Make rules and follow rules as needed, but don’t focus on rules. Focus on faith. Focus on grace. Focus on Jesus.” Sometimes rules become overpowering and we, as humans, focus solely on them, becoming blind to the things around us. I highly recommend this book to anyone hoping to revitalize his or her life.