Title: Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ
Author: John Piper
Book Review: Tony Fowler
Some time ago I listened to Tom Penman’s testimony, recorded when he spoke at Newcraigs Evangelical Church. I remember being struck by his focus on the fact that God saves people for a relationship with Him. We look forward to heaven, Tom said, not because it’s some great theme park in the sky, but because it’s where our Lord is. We want to see Him face to face, and to be with Him.
Perhaps it’s because of my original training as an accountant, but I think I’ve always taken a more transactional approach to the gospel. I’ve focused more on what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, and all that He offers us in Him – the great gifts of His grace. Yes, we enter into a relationship with God when we trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for us, a relationship that begins here and now and continues into the glory of His nearer presence… but somehow that hasn’t been at the centre of the way I’ve thought about, and presented, the good news about Jesus during the nearly 50 years I’ve been a Christian. And that’s a failing in my ministry, I’m sure.
So it was with great pleasure that I read a book my son gave me. It had been on the bookshelf for a while, since David moved to Chile, but I only got round to reading it recently. The author is American Baptist minister John Piper, and its title is ‘Seeing and Savouring Jesus Christ’. The book is a series of thirteen short meditations on the glory, character and work of the Lord Jesus. Each chapter is saturated in Scripture, which means that we’re going to the central source of our knowledge about the Lord. It also means that while the book can simply be read as it stands, it can also be used as the basis for deeper studies. A prayer follows each meditation, enabling the reader to pray what she or he has learned into their life’s experience. Some might find the book useful for a series of daily devotions.
Each chapter helps us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,” as the writer to the Hebrews puts it (Hebrews 12:2). As he knew only too well, it’s our knowledge of, and relationship with, the Lord Jesus that sustains us in the challenges and demands of the Christian life.
I heartily commend this book to anybody seeking to deepen their relationship with the Saviour.