Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: BE Compassionate (Luke 1-13)

book cover

BE Compassionate (Luke 1-13)
by Warren W. Wiersbe

ISBN-13: 9781434765024
Trade Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: David C Cook
Released: Jul 1, 2010

Source: Review copy through The B&B Media Group.

Book Description from Back Cover:
The life and ministry of Christ was marked by His overwhelming compassion for people. And His heart is the same today. As believers, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, and extend His extravagant love to a broken world. Based on the book of Luke, this study examines the very heartbeat of our Savior, and explores how Jesus connected with hurting people in an authentic and powerful way.

Part of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe's best-selling "BE" commentary series, BE Compassionate has now been updated with study questions and a new introduction by Ken Baugh. A respected pastor and Bible teacher, Dr. Wiersbe explores the compassionate life of Jesus. Filled with moving examples of Christ's ministry to people of all backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs, this study will inspire you to share His love with the world around you.

BE Compassionate is a commentary on chapters 1-13 of Luke, but it's written more like a filled-in Bible study than a Bible reference book. As in, you could go to a certain chapter and verse reference and read the entry for more information, but the book was designed to be read from start to finish. The book was easy to understand and an enjoyable, quick read.

With one exception, each chapter in the book covered one chapter in Luke. The author pointed out the meanings of Greek words that don't fully translate into English and background historical information that helped to bring out the full impact of the verses. There were 9 to 11 questions at the end of each chapter. Some tested to see if you remembered/understood what the author had said, but others were discussion/reflection questions about how you could apply what you had just learned.

This study made me think, and I gained a lot of new insights from reading it. I didn't agree with a few of the author's conclusions, but I'm not claiming that they're wrong. I've just heard a different spin put on the events that seems to fit better, in my opinion. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book as a Bible study for those who want a deeper understanding of the Word.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from page 18-19
A faithful priest (vv.5-7). Zacharias ("Jehovah has remembered"; Zechariah in NIV) and Elizabeth ("God is my oath") were a godly couple who both belonged to the priestly line. The priests were divided into twenty-four courses (1 Chron. 24), and each priest served in the temple two weeks out of the year. In spite of the godlessness around them, Zacharias and Elizabeth were faithful to obey the Word of God and live blamelessly.

Their only sorrow was that they had no family, and they made this a matter of constant prayer. Little did they know that God would answer their prayers and give them, not a priest, but a prophet! And no ordinary prophet, for their son would be the herald of the coming King!

A fearful priest (vv.8-17). The priests on duty drew lots to see which ministries they would perform, and Zacharias was chosen to offer incense in the Holy Place. This was a high honor that was permitted to a priest but once in a lifetime. The incense was offered daily before the morning sacrifice and after the evening sacrifice, about three o'clock in the afternoon. It was probably the evening offering that was assigned to Zacharias.

Read chapter one.

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