Book Review: The Surprising Saviour by Mark Sweetnam

book cover imageMark Sweetnam, The Surprising Saviour (Northern Ireland: Scripture Teaching Library, 2020), 68 pp.

Reviewed by David Petterson

The older one gets, the more difficult it is to be surprised. Many of the things that may have thrilled us in our youth quickly lose their luster. But there is a great exception to this general rule for a believer in Christ. The more we study His blessed person and tremendous deeds, the more we are amazed, and the less amazed we become by everything else. Indeed, we happily confess with the hymnwriter Thoro Harris, “All that thrills my soul is Jesus.”

Mark Sweetnam’s latest title, The Surprising Saviour, demonstrates from the Gospels how Christ caused many to be in awe and why it is that we are in awe still. The multitudes who eagerly heard Him teach, the 12 who saw so many of His miracles, and His enemies who sought His destruction were all led on certain occasions to marvel at the Savior.

Sweetnam begins the book with Jesus’ surprising demand to Nicodemus that he must be born again, and concludes with Christ’s surprising servants, changed by His mighty power, giving the world that same message. The chapters in between focus on other familiar passages, also expounded with fresh insights, including our Lord’s death and the ultimate surprise – His glorious resurrection.

A few times, your hand will reach for the dictionary, but many more, your heart will be drawn to Christ in the pages of The Surprising Saviour.

The book is available for purchase at and