This short book from Dr. Nancy Bedford packs a vital theological punch. It poses the question ‘Who was Jesus’ and ‘What does it mean to follow him’ in an attempt to redirect the Church back toward the centrality of Christ, the gospel message, and what it means to be the Body of Christ. Without the centralization of Christ and what it means to tangibly follow Christ, the Church has lost its way. This text is a clarion call for our times with tangible steps for redirecting ourselves and our communities toward Christ.
Dr. Bedford provides 6 entry points into the two posed questions:
1. Who is Jesus of Nazareth and what does it mean to follow him?
2. Who is Jesus ‘the Incarnate One’ and what does it mean to follow him?
3. Who is Jesus as Prophet, Teacher, and Healer? And how to follow him?
4. Who is Jesus ‘the executed one?’ How do we follow him?
5. Who is Jesus resurrected and exalted? How do we follow him?
6. Who is Jesus in the Spirit, and how do we follow them?
This book is written to be accessible to all people and has discussion questions for each chapter. As a result, it is perfect for small groups! I highly recommend.
I’ll end this review with a succinct quote that I believe speaks to the concise clarity, beauty, and conviction of this text:
“If we say we follow Jesus, whenever it seems that the fruit of our discipleship does not lead to justice and peacemaking, it is time to reexamine our lives and those of our communities of faith. We can do so with the help of the Spirit by examining more closely the way Jesus lived (Matthew 7:15-20) and asking ourselves whether we are truly walking in his footsteps” (Dr. Nancy Bedford, ‘Who was Jesus and What Does it Mean to Follow Him,’ 74).