Surprised by Hope, Tom Wright

This book by Tom Wright investigates the resurrection, ascension and second coming of Jesus and ‘heaven’ from a thoroughly biblical point of view and explains how first century Jews would have understood Jesus’ teaching. It smashes commonly held misunderstandings by putting teaching back into its original context.

Wright also looks at the commonly held misunderstandings of today’s UK/US cultures and helps us go back to the biblical grounds for our theology of Christ’s return, where He is now and what happens to believers after death.

As I read it for the second time, I’m realising how deeply engrained my wrong understandings can be, as I’m still getting it wrong even though I’ve read the book before!

Today I’ve been reminded that Jesus’ parable of the talents is about the first coming of Jesus not the second. Wright explains that, although early Christians quickly reinterpreted it to refer to the second coming, the original hearers heard it to be about God coming back to the Jerusalem temple after the exile, in the person of Jesus.