Jesus is God and we are not. Most of us get that. But what we don’t always understand is that God loves us just as much as He does His son. Many times in the Old Testament, God refers to human beings as His beloved. But when God called Jesus "my Beloved", Jesus did something truly remarkable: He believed Him.
In Prototype, Jonathan Martin creates a vivid understanding of what it means to be God's beloved. To completely trust, as Jesus did, that God loves us. To live without fear, confident in our identity and purpose. To handle life's wounds as Jesus did, and to wake every day with a deep awareness of God's presence. Martin reveals a startling truth at the heart of the gospel: Jesus is our prototype. And as we discover how the knowledge of being God's beloved changed everything for Jesus - how it set Him free to live out His purpose and love God, others, and the world - it will begin to do the same for us.
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A Game Changer
I read this book back to back with Jesus Is by Judah Smith, and it made this book even more amazing. Jonathan writes from a more academic standpoint than Judah, and a lot of what Judah talks about in his book, is discussed in depth in Jonathan's. Some people might disagree, but I think both go hand in hand really well, and I suggest reading them back to back.
I have been a regular podcast listener of Jonathan Martin's for about a year. I really love His sermons because unlike many "Bible Belt" preachers, his focus is on the grace given to us by Jesus Christ. I grew up in the church, and have seen and heard a lot of people talk about sin and condemnation and personal definitions of what being like Jesus means. I have gotten really tired of people personally defining what like Jesus means and not actually reading scripture correctly and breaking down how Jesus tells us to be like Him. I am really tired of listening to certain famous pastor scream and yell at their congregations about how we should feel condemned for our sin and we need to repent and get rid of it cause we are ugly in God's eyes. I am really sick of hearing that we live in total depravity because of the fall and thats why the resurrection is so great is that he saved us from our wickedness. It's not that I don't agree, i just wish the focus of peoples lives was less on how terrible we are and how much sin separates us from God, and more on how to be more like Jesus. I don't think that when Jesus looked at people like the prostitute who washed his feet with perfume, that he thought she was ugly and depraved and disgusting because of her sin. I think he looked at her as beautiful, because he saw who HE created, and HE saw His creation was beautiful and good. He saw that she wanted to be like Him, to worship Him, to be around Him, and to be in relationship with Him. I believe thats how God looks at us, and I feel like people would live in a lot more freedom if they actually believed that is how God looks at them as well. I have never had anyone besides my pastor now and Jonathan tell me that because God created me in HIS image, His innocence, purity, and beauty still exists deep inside me, and when I choose to live in Him, I have total freedom in Christ Jesus and He heals me through that innocent part of me. Nothing in this book is necessarily a "new" thought process, opinion, or mindset. I personally believe It's really hard for us American Christians to remember that because we are made in the image of God, we still have a part of Him in us despite our sin nature. I feel like many Christians in America who struggle with being dead to their sin and ALIVE in Christ would experience a really healing, powerful discussion with the Holy Spirit if they read this book. Our view of who we are in Christ would shift not only our day to day walks with God and our lifestyles, but our encounters with Him. I think this book is an absolute must read, and will dramatically altar peoples relationships with God.
I listened to this book during a very intense time in my walk with the Lord, so I was pretty much bawling the entire time I was listening to Him. I have a really serious spiritual stronghold with failure, and I was believing the intense lie that the intense connection I have with Jesus when I worship Him and lead others in worship was not something that could ever be a part of my life anymore, because I listened to people tell me I wasn't talented. The Holy Spirit used Jonathan to start a chain of events (beginning with me deciding to download this book) that lead to intense spiritual experiences at a camp i worked at, and eventually God using the one person who I felt made me feel like a failure the most to tell me that no one could ever come between the Lord and His calling in my life. His sermons continue to impact me, even though I listen from 3000 miles away. Soon, everyone who struggles with believing the Lord looks at them as beautiful and good despite their sin, will live in freedom. Soon everyone who struggles with intense spiritual bondage will live in real freedom knowing that there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
Best book I ever read
- Loni Gow