Who was this man that nobody knew? Jesus! But everyone knows who Jesus was. Jesus was the Savior of all mankind; he is the man that is portrayed in the paintings, a flabby looking guy, weak and very peaceful. So wait, is this a different Jesus in a different part of the world? Was it another man named Jesus? What do you know about Jesus that I do not? These are all questions that Bruce Barton answers in his book. In the beginning of Barton’s book, he describes what he thought of Jesus and what the world view of Jesus was at the time. Bruce Barton as a child saw Jesus as “the lamb of God”, but he did not understand what that meant, to him it sounded more like “Mary’s little lamb”. (3)Bruce Barton did not look at Jesus as he did to Daniel, who stood off the lions, or David who landed a stone in the forehead of Goliath, or even Moses who brought the Hebrews out of slavery. (3) To him these three men were heroes, winners, survivors, Jesus was just “a pale young man with flabby forearms and a sad expression”. (3) Bruce soon realized that Jesus was none of those measly things; Jesus was the strong, a great person, and the founder of modern business, and if any business man would want to succeed in life he must follow in the footsteps of Jesus. There are many themes in Bruce Barton’s book the man nobody knows, but the ultimate theme of the book is a guide on how to become the ultimate business leader. There are some key areas that will be described in this essay, how to lead, methods on doing so, and how to keep the business running.
The dominant theme in Bruce Barton’s book is business. In my opinion I believe Barton wrote this book as a guide for future business leaders. In his opening paragraph he describes how “a big man takes a firmer hold” (6) when the day is late. Any person can be in tip top shape in the morning, but it takes a true leader to be on top of his game in the late afternoon. Barton again describes this type of leader from a saying that napoleon said “that he had met few men with courage of the “two-o’clock in the morning variety.” Many men can be brave in the warmth of the sun and amid the heartening plaudits of the crowd; but to be awakened suddenly out of sound sleep, and then to exhibit instant mastery-that is the type courage which is rare indeed.” (28). this leader Barton is describing was Jesus, amidst of all the things he had to do, he always kept his cool, he always said the right things at the right time. A great lesson that many leaders can take from Jesus, is when his disciples ask Jesus to “call down fire from heaven and consume” (7) the people of a village that denied to host them for the night. What would a modern (1920s) leader do when he is approached with such a request? Maybe respond with a smart remark against that request, or maybe denounce the fellow that brought forth the remark, or maybe do what Jesus did, just keep silent. This was one of those times when silence is the answer. Barton says that “there are times when nothing a man can say is nearly so powerful as saying nothing... Silence convicts them of their folly; they wish they had not spoken so quickly.” (7) Every person can take that statement to heart, sometimes no matter what you say, any word is the wrong word. A great illustration of this is when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. In the times of Jesus, there was a hatred that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. This situation seems to be impossible exclaims Barton, How could Jesus give his message to someone who is “forbidden by everything holy to listen?” Barton says that “there are times when any word is the wrong word; when only silence can prevail” (48) Jesus responded to the woman with a single sentence, and with this sentence he was able captivate her into listening to what he had to say. (48) Barton uses this example to show that being in a position of high status creates a great deal on what you have to say. Whatever comes out of your mouth you...
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