This Was Always About More Than a Book...
It’s hard to remember the exact moment when Jesus’ humanity started to become more real to me. But I do remember when I first begin to realize that I was trying to “fit” the person of Jesus into my preconceived view of God, instead of allowing Jesus to radically transform my view of God.
It’s a bit like this picture—the mannequin is a model of the boy, not the other way around, right?
And when it comes to God, even though there all sorts of amazing ways in which God is revealed—not least in the Holy Scriptures, in the wonder of creation, and in the image of God we see in others—the ultimate or “final” way God is revealed to us is in Jesus, whom the writer of the Book of Hebrews describes as God’s “exact” or “precise expression” (Heb. 1.1-3).
Once that truth dawned on me —that there is no better way to see God than by looking at Jesus—it set me on a faith-shifting journey deep into the heart of the Gospel accounts to encounter, to know, to be transformed by this vibrant, living, breathing, laughing, crying, flesh-and-blood first-century figure: Jesus.
And that journey, still unfolding, is changing everything for me…
Trent Sheppard helps to pastor an urban house church called Ekklesia, and oversees Alpha's work with college and university students in New England. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife, Bronwyn, and their three children. Before moving to Massachusetts, Trent lived and worked in the UK for eight years with Youth With A Mission. He is the author of God On Campus.
Trent's teaching and travels have taken him to fifty nations, and given him the privilege of catching glimpses of Jesus all along the way—in the innocent eyes of a brilliant boy named Billy Smith in Burundi, Central Africa; in the Christlike counsel of a Coptic monk living on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt; in the warm welcome of a bighearted family in a bustling favela in Sao Paolo, Brazil; in the indigenous sound of a Sami joik on the edge of the Arctic Circle; and—when he's at home in East Boston—in the big laughs, local service, and exceedingly rich conversation he shares with friends and family in Ekklesia.