Skip to main content

(Review) Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do With You by John MacArthur

Publication Date: August 12, 2014.
Publisher: Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson.
Genre: Bible stories, biographies.
Pages: 240.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 4 Stars for very good.

Book is available @ Amazon,
and @ Christian Book. 

Author's site: Grace to You. 

Bio of John MacArthur. 
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California,
president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You
media ministry. Grace to You radio, video, audio, print, and website resources reach millions
worldwide each day. In more than four decades of ministry, John has written dozens of
bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, The
MacArthur New Testament Commentary series, and Slave. He and his wife, Patricia, have four
married children and fifteen grandchildren.

Mark and Onesimus: A Tale of Two Runaways. 

"Some heroes are made in a moment. Others are defined by a lifetime." Page 1.

John MacArthur has written short biographies on twelve men and women from the Bible who became "unlikely heroes." They are unlikely in respect to the world's definition of a hero. They are heroes because of their faithfulness to God. They were all imperfect men and women. Some of them ran from God at the beginning of their life story. But they were used by God for His will and purpose.

My Thoughts:
It is important to be reminded that the "true hero of the Bible is God." MacArthur states this point in the beginning of the book. It is also important to be reminded that God is at work in all of His children's lives, bringing about growth and development in our character and spirit. At times I've had an attitude that I'm too flawed to be used by God, I've failed and thus can no longer be used by God. Reading the story of Mark set my mind at peace, because he too became afraid and gave-up. However, God lifted him back-up for service, and Mark remained steadfast and faithful.

"One of the primary evidences of genuine salvation is a sincere desire, on the part of the converted, to know God intimately and obey Him fully." Page 12.

One of my favorite characters in the Bible is John the Baptist. He ate locusts. I can't get that mental image out of my head. I can imagine his voice as being bold and resonant. His gaze piercing. His persona like a magnet. He was not a personality I'd engage in an argument. He was eclectic and unpretentious. Even if he might have bug parts in his teeth, his feet stood on solid ground. To the world they thought him odd, a spectacle. But he was a man faithful to God. John's message was "to repent."

"Repentance does not refer to just any change, but to a change from sin and righteousness. It involves sorrow over sin, but goes beyond that to produce both changed thinking and the desire for a changed life." Page 160.

MacArthur takes opportunity to teach a broad brush-stroke of the "unlikely heroes" and the lessons we should learn from their lives. Whether the lesson is of repentance, steadfastness, courage, or humility. The dominant lesson is through God we can "accomplish His sovereign purposes."