The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins by Kyle Idleman
Perhaps the most “famous” sermon of all time, there is certainly no shortage of material covering Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. The early statements of that sermon, known as the beatitudes, are simple, timeless lessons for Christians; timeless in their appeal and application.
“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
The vast amount of study and attention given to the material is certainly an obstacle to providing any sort of fresh perspective. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what Kyle Idleman does in The End of Me. Compellingly, he sets the beatitudes — indeed, the whole Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ overall ministry — into the context of our lives.
Jesus’ message was “backwards” from what his audience typically heard — “upside-down,” indeed, from our contemporary paradigms. Idleman leads his reader to consider the everlasting impact of this message. He leads his reader to consider the starting point of the message in our own spiritual lives. For it is only at the end of ourselves, that we can begin to know, love, and experience the richness and depth of Jesus our Lord.
Too often, it’s only when one reaches the lowest of low points, wholly empty of himself, that he seeks the Lord.
Relationships, careers, TV, mobile devices, social media, sports, family, raising children — our lives have certainly become busy. They are filled with so many things; things other than Jesus. And that’s just how this world has been designed by the influence of the evil one, by the Father of Lies. When we reach the end of that busyness — the end of ourselves — we are ready to be filled with things more important, more eternal. We’re ready to be filled with Jesus.
“God helps those who stop in the midst of crisis and ask someone to assist them. When we’re helpless and we know it, we’re open to receive the transforming help he wants to give us. When we come to the end of ourselves, we find him there waiting to give us what we have been so desperate for all along.” (Idleman, 138)
Idleman successfully uses parables and illustrations from scripture to relate the “upside-down” message of the beatitudes to each of us; sharply cutting into individual paradigms and through personal comfort levels. You won’t regret spending time understanding his message in The End of Me.