Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur, published by Thomas Nelson, explores the lives of some well-known and less known characters found in the scriptures. The people explored by MacArthur are Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, Mark, and Onesimus. John MacArthur begins his book by giving a thoughtful discussion about who is truly a hero and challenging his reader to learn from true heroes, the lives of which are found in God’s word.
MacArthur tells the story of each Bible hero, beautiful painting the story of how God worked in the lives of each individual. A particular favorite of mine was his story telling for life of Joseph. MacArthur gives useful insights into the actions of Joseph’s brothers, as well as drawing considerations for the emotional state of Joseph, who is regularly mistreated throughout his life. MacArthur rounds out this chapter by exploring the forgiveness that Joseph is able to offer to his brothers and practical thoughts about how to have a faith like Joseph through difficulties.
The book ends with a call for a life of faith-filled obedience and the need to trust and obey, just as we read these heroes doing with their lives. MacArthur encourages his reads with these final words. “Faithful Christian living often results in persecution, not praise. But rest assured, God’s promises are true. One day your faith will become sight (1 Corinthians 13:12) and your faithfulness will be rewarded (Matthew 25:21, 23). In this world, those who live by faith and walk in faithfulness are often derided and despised. But in the world to come, they will be greeted with nothing less than a hero’s welcome.”
Our faith is only encouraged and strengthen when we read and understand the lives of those who faithfully lived and gave their lives to the Lord. MacArthur draws our attention to a few of these faithful followers and teaches us how we can model their faith. You will enjoy reading this book and I recommend it as an assistant to your study of God’s word.
*This book was provided to me free of charge from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.