December 30, 2011

The Innkeeper by John Piper: Book Review

One of the books that my wife gave me for Christmas was The Innkeeper by John Piper.  It only took about 5 minutes to read this book, but I was was already deeply emotionally moved before I was half way through the book.

The inside front cover gives this description:

Only two weeks from His crucifixion, Jesus has stopped in Bethlehem. He has returned to visit someone important--the innkeeper who made a place for Mary and Joseph the night He was born. But His greater purpose in coming is to pay a debt. What did it cost to house the Son of God? 
Through this imaginative poem, John Piper shares a tale of what might have been. The story of an innkeeper whose life was forever altered by the arrival of the Son of God. 
Ponder the sacrifice that was made that night. Celebrate Christ's birth and the power of His resurrection. Rejoice in the life and light He brings to all. And encounter the hope His life gives you for today--and for eternity.
Just like the description, it tells a story of what might have been if Jesus had visited the innkeeper just before he was crucified.  It gives a different take on how we usually portray that innkeeper.  Normally we think of him as being unfeeling or unkind in allowing a baby to be born in a manger, but it didn't have to be that way.  It is quite possible, and maybe more believable that the innkeeper was showing a kindness in allowing the manger to be opened up to travelers.

The book that I have is dedicated to any who have lost a child.  As you read this, you can see why this is mentioned at the beginning.

There is also that great glorification of Jesus.  I love how Piper does this.  He doesn't come right out and say, "Jesus is great!"  Instead, he uses his words to draw you to that conclusion yourself.  You suddenly find yourself thinking, "Jesus is Great!" before you know that you are thinking it!  He pulls on your heartstrings to magnify our Lord.

The version that I have linked is different from the version that I have in front of me.  The version I have in front of me is illustrated by paintings from Glenn Harrington, whereas the version I have linked is illustrated by John Lawrence.

If you have a few extra bucks, this is a worthwhile purchase.  I believe that Amazon has a few of these that are used where you will basically pay for shipping.  Check it out.