“ …If Jesus did not grow tired, how was it he fell sound asleep in the boat? If he did not become thirsty and exhausted, what prompted him to sit down at a well and ask a Samaritan woman for a drink?”

Another aspect of Reardon’s book that I appreciated was the time and attention he gave to exploring the four Gospels in congruence to each other. By comparing their contents, Reardon helps us see the purpose and audience each author had in mind when he wrote his account of Jesus’ life.  While it should matter to us that Luke was written for a Gentile audience and that Mark focuses particularly on the suffering of Jesus, we often blur the Gospels together. In doing so, we miss out on a richer understanding of Christ’s life. Reardon’s book offers an answer to that problem.

Many might feel that to dwell on Christ’s humanity is to neglect his holiness, and thus make less of him in our hearts. However, Reardon believes that acknowledging Christ’s humanity can only strengthen a Christian’s faith. To know that Jesus experienced first-hand the same trials, weariness, temptations and limitations we do, means he relates empathetically with all we face. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15).

The only aspect of Reardon’s book that I felt was lacking was an introductory chapter or systematic outline of what the Christian faith teaches about the humanity of Jesus. We get something of that sort in chapter four, but a few words at the beginning of his book about what the Church has taught concerning the human condition of Christ would have served his readers well, particularly those new to this topic.

Vocationally, Reardon is both a pastor and a scholar. This shines through in The Jesus We Missed; his words are articulate yet warm, instructive yet reverent. Overall, this book will helpful to anyone looking for solid, foundational teaching on the humanity of Jesus.

Kelly Givens is an Editor at the Salem Web Network. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and enjoys reading, writing and spending time in the great outdoors.