Jesus of Nazareth, no matter what your faith, is a controversial figure. No matter how you understand his nature or his historicity, if you live in the West you cannot help but to have been touched by his life and teachings. For those in the Christian Community there is much to be learned from the way that he presented himself and his message as a matter of skill and technique. Even if you believe that there was no technique involved, only the expression of the Father and Holy Spirit through the life of the Son, that manifestation produced patterns to which we are called and that we are challenged to emulate.
This book provides an exquisite guide to some of the patterns of presence, belief and messaging that can be found in the written records of the life of the Nazarene. Not that such a thing hasn’t been done before. Og Mandino applied his life and patterns to sales. Robert Dilts examined the way he structured belief and manifested healing. There is no end to the number of books that attempt to parse His teachings and their style, his person and ways to follow. In this case especially, as Solomon said, of the making of books, there is no end.
This book is different. Written by a pastor—no surprise here—it is written not only by someone deeply committed to the Faith of Jesus Christ and his church, but a scholar, a man who has spent most of his life seeking truth and the tools with which to apprehend it. Among those tools is a thorough understanding of NLP and its application to life and especially the life of faith.
NLP is a modeling discipline. That is, it allows us to analyze behavior in one person and teach it to another. It allows the astute practitioner to minutely dissect the patterns of perception and action manifested by a genius or a person of special competence and make those same skills available to someone else who might need or be able to use them.
In this book, Pastor Baez, analyses how Jesus taught, the states from which he taught, the patterns that he used and the ways in which he related to his audience. In each case he provides guidance for accessing the states in which Jesus lived and from which he spoke, the kinds of observations that he made regarding his congregation, how he related to them and personalized his message, and how he planted seeds bearing good fruit over time.
How can this be possible? Pastor Baez uses cues from Jesus’ own statements and the reports of the gospel writers to glean the essential details of how Jesus taught and the contexts in which he did so. It is the same kind of careful scrutiny of the evidence in written materials and personal reports that Robert Dilts used in analyzing the more recent, and certainly now dead, unlike Jesus, to fill out his three-volume Strategies of Genius.
There is something else. This is not just a book about using Jesus’ skill set. On a deeper level it is set of tools for growing closer to Him and learning to live out His life in the context of our own.
If the task of the Christian is to embody Christ and to manifest him in our own lives, then this is a book of tools suited to that very purpose. Pastor Baez, for those who can use it, provides another piece of the divine mirror so that ‘… we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (II Cor. 3:18).”
Richard Gray, Research Director for the NLP Research and Recognition Project and author of Archetypal Explorations (Routledge, 1996) and Co-Author with Lisa Wake and Frank Bourke of The Clinical Effectiveness of NLP (Routledge, 2012).