Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Grave Robber

Pastor Mark Batterson's latest book is entitled The Grave Robber. This devotional focuses on the seven miracles performed by Jesus as recorded in the gospel of John. Each of the seven chapters of the book introduces one of the miracles:
  • turning water into wine
  • healing the royal official's son from a distance
  • healing the invalid at the pool of Bethesda
  • feeding of the 5000
  • walking on water
  • giving sight to the man born blind
  • raising Lazarus from the dead
Batterson expands on issues of faith, perseverance, trust, love, and patience associated with each. He introduces anecdotes from his own life and others, both contemporary and historical, that help us to understand Jesus and his purposes better. The discussions not only serve to make it clear what purposes Jesus had in mind during his earthly ministry 2000 years ago, but also how his work then should impact our lives today. When I told my pastor that I was reading this book, he asked my opinion of it. I told him:

It still has that Batterson style, but with each new release his books get a little slicker a little bit more over-produced. I prefer his earlier books to his later books. However, I am still enjoying the read.

I think that sums things up for me. To be clear though, I would definitely recommend this book to folks looking for something to read during their devotional time. Each section is broken up into page-long, subsections, each of which can serve as a stand-alone devotional, even though its theme fits well within the overall section to which it belongs. I also worked my way through the teaching and expository video series that is available for free as part of this book. Mark's lessons are taught on location in and around Israel. They were very well done.