The Friends and Foes of Jesus: Discover How People in the New Testament React to God’s Good News (ebook)

The Friends and Foes of Jesus: Discover How People in the New Testament React to God’s Good News (ebook)

Strengthen your faith as you discover how people in the New Testament react to God’s good news.

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He was loved. He was hated. But he was never ignored.

Throughout history, men and women have asked, “Who is Jesus?” Some called him Lord. Others called him a great prophet.

Still others called him an apostate and nailed him to a cross.

The Jesus we meet in the New Testament is at once both human yet divine, adored yet feared, meek yet all-powerful. This Jesus can’t be summed up by a simple word or phrase, and his impact on world history and on the spiritual lives of believers today can’t be overstated.

Jesus was just as polarizing in his own time as he is now. Some adored him, risking their lives and following him to the cross. Others cursed him with their dying breaths.

In The Friends and Foes of Jesus, you’ll come face to face with Christ’s closest followers as well as his most outspoken rivals. From the High Priest who hated him to the beloved disciple who laid his head on Jesus's breast at the Last Supper, Peter DeHaan gives flesh, blood, and voice to these New Testament characters whose names you’ve read dozens of times but never really met until now.

The Friends and Foes of Jesus
introduces contemporary readers to the people who interacted with the Son of God when he walked among us as a man. 

Get The Friends and Foes of Jesus for an unforgettable devotional journey filled with spiritual encouragement, historical tidbits, and practical inspiration for each new day.


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Bible Character Sketches Series, book 2 (read in any order)

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If you could sum up the Bible in one word, what would it be? This isn’t a trick question. For a hint, look at the title of this chapter. The one word I choose to sum up the Bible is Jesus.

Though the Old Testament of the Bible focuses on God’s people and their relationship with him, it also looks forward to a coming savior. It anticipates Jesus. From our perspective today, Jesus is the point of the Old Testament. Seriously.

The New Testament of the Bible, of course, is all about Jesus. It starts by covering his life from the perspectives of four biographers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Then it moves into the work of Jesus’s followers as they share the good news of Jesus with as many people as they can.

Just as today, some people of the New Testament decide to follow him, and others don’t. Everyone moves toward one of these two conclusions. In the end, they’re either for him or against him. They’re either friend or foe.
Not only is Jesus the central figure in the Bible, many say he’s the central figure in all of history. I am one of those people.

Jesus is amazing. I talk about him in the present tense because he is a present reality in my life. Though many people think that Jesus was, to me he is. Embracing him in the present brings him closer and makes him more accessible. In fact, when I write about the people in the Bible, I often use present tense for the same reason: to bring them closer and make them more accessible.

I do this to understand Jesus better. What’s your understanding of him?

Do you think of Jesus as meek and mild or bold and brash? Is Jesus easygoing or intense? Does he draw people in with his love or make them cringe with his criticism? Does Jesus produce unity or cause division?
Don’t think about this too hard. The answer is yes! Yes, to all the above.

Wherever Jesus goes, whatever he does, and whatever he says provokes a reaction. People are either drawn to him or repelled. They either love him or hate him. Just as it was true 2,000 years ago, it is true today.

Consider the people of the New Testament. Some are for Jesus and others are against him. Some are willing to die for him and others want to silence him forever.

Join me as we explore these friends and foes of Jesus. May their lives encourage us and challenge us. May our search bring us closer to Jesus and deepen our relationship with him.

Let’s move from Jesus as our friend to Jesus as our best friend forever—our BFF—one who will never let us down, never forget us, and never leave us. Jesus can be the ultimate BFF. All we need to do is follow him and be his disciple.

How do you view Jesus? Does the idea of Jesus being our BFF shock you or encourage you?

[Discover more about Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. Learn more about Jesus’s love for us in John 13:34–35, about friendship in Proverbs 18:24, and about God’s forever promise in Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5.]

Meet Author Peter DeHaan

Peter DeHaan, PhD, often makes religious people squirm, but spiritual seekers cheer. He’s not trying to be provocative, but he seeks truth, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. He yearns for Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

Peter earned his doctorate, awarded with high distinction, from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. He lives with his wife in beautiful Southwest Michigan and wrangles crossword puzzles in his spare time.

Learn more about Peter