The Conversations of Jesus By Simon J. Kistemaker
Learning from His Encounters
As growing believers, we want to understand more of the person of Jesus; we need to flesh Him out and get to know Him as the embodiment of God in human form. This book will do that for you.
As Jesus moved around, He encountered many people and yet paid attention to every one. He had extensive conversations with some, with others just short observations, but in the words He used, he spoke volumes. Kistemaker describes and makes observations about these conversations, making the person of Jesus more real for me and expanding my picture of WHO He is.
Who is Simon J Kistemaker? His books are not necessarily found in our popular Christian bookshops, but ask any theology student, and they know who he is. Kistemaker, now deceased, was a professor of the New Testament at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and a significant contributor to Dr William Hendrickson’s New Testament Commentary. Four of the seven volumes, written by Dr Kistemaker, received the Gold Medallion Evangelical Book of the Year Award. His commentaries are well known and respected. A past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, he served as its secretary for more than ten years.
Yet despite his scholarly qualifications, his writing is immediately accessible and likeable to the average person and does not require an academic degree to understand. His writing is clear and straightforward, and he suggests great life applications to his content. Never once did I feel I was reading the book of a theology professor. He dedicated this book to his own family, and it is a wonderful gift. He must have been a fountain of wisdom and understanding to his family.
In this book, Kistemaker explored the various conversations Jesus had in the following categories:
- People Who Became Messengers of Jesus
- People Whose Faith Jesus Praised
- People Whom Jesus Healed
- People Who Became Jesus’ Apostles
- People Whose Lives Jesus Touched
- People Who Opposed Jesus
Personally, the chapters on people whose faith Jesus praised had the most significant impact on me. I was studying the word ‘faith’ when I first encountered this book, and Kistemaker shed light on conversations in scripture I had always battled to understand. Each conversation taught me a principle on faith that has stood me in good stead over time.
Later, when I was studying each of the disciples, Kistemaker shed light on each of their callings, particularly the conversations Jesus had with Peter and John.
This is a great book to use alongside your bible study, but I don’t think it will work for a group study. However, it is also an excellent resource and one I find that I regularly dip into. Although Kistemaker suggests life applications in his book, it was more about the conversation I was personally having with God that made this book impact me.
I have since seen that Kistemaker also released a study on the ‘Parables of Jesus’ and the ‘Miracles of Jesus’. I have noted these for myself and will be investing in these for greater insight because I know that his books are based on years of study and research.