If you know me then you’ll know that I love the Old Testament, I enjoy reading the more seemingly obscure and difficult parts of Scripture. Over the last few months the majority of sermons that I have preached have been from the Old Testament, in Genesis and in Joel, it has been both a great joy and a very stretching and challenging task.
When it comes to the Old Testament sometimes Christians can think “can we not just preach Jesus? Why bother with the Old Testament?” Reading, teaching and preaching from the Old Testament can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, but if we are to preach the whole counsel of God then that includes the Old Testament, even the most difficult parts.
Johnson has written a book that is built on the solid foundation that the whole of the Old Testament points to Jesus. Journeys with Jesus doesn’t only help the reader see different ways to get to Jesus from the Old Testament, but it also warns the reader of how not to go about getting to Jesus. As Christians our desire should be to learn from the Word of God properly, to teach it well, and to understand the applications of its message for our lives today, to understand how and how not to get to Jesus properly, as God intended, from each passage.
There are many books out there on this topic, a lot of which are academic studies, but Johnson takes a much lighter approach which makes this book packed full of great truths whilst also being understandable.
Johnson doesn’t just give you the answers though, as many similar books do, instead he takes you with him on this journey to find Jesus. This book will encourage you to read and excite you about the Old Testament, something that is missing in many churches today, but more than that it makes you think about how Jesus saw the Old Testament and how he used it to teach and to draw people to himself from it.
The Bible is not a document compiled of sixty-six different books that have nothing in common, but the Bible has a melodic line running through it, a red string that you can trace all the way through. From Genesis to Revelation you can walk through the Bible and all the while learn about Jesus who is only given a name when you hit the New Testament.
This book will make you want to learn and grow in principles that will help you understand the Bible, and it is full of helpful insights into how to unpack what the Bible is teaching.
Johnson uses the imagery of a journey with valleys and mountains, with springs and rivers and as you journey through this terrain trying to get to Jesus from words penned hundreds of years before his birth you will find that like those on the Road to Emmaus your heart will burn as you understand the Scriptures.
If you want to know God’s Word more, if you want to love the Old Testament and refer to it as often as Jesus did, then this book is a good place to start. It is not too long and it is not too short, it is not too academic and it is not a ‘dummies guide to the Bible’, but it is a well-balanced and well thought through book that will make you want to study the Old Testament more.