Sunday, April 7, 2013

When Jesus Wept - Fiction, Biblical

When Jesus Wept
The Jerusalem Chronicles, Book 1
By Bodie and Brock Thoene

David ben Lazarus has poured his life into the vineyard passed down through generations of his family.  He has learned the meticulous trade of watering, pruning, harvesting, and fermenting the fruit of the vine.  Lazarus has also longed for the promised Messiah to come and rescue Israel from her oppressors, especially the Romans.  When he hears John the Baptizer proclaiming that the Promised One is here, Lazarus is afraid to believe that the wait is finally done.  Will this Jesus overrun the Roman government by starting a rebellion that will also drive the corrupt religious leaders from their positions of political power?  But, as he walks with Jesus, sees His miracles, and hears Him teach, Lazarus wonders if there might be a much deeper implication for every man.  Jesus speaks not of rebellion, but of loving your enemy.  Jesus also teaches Lazarus about the Father using illustrations of a Master Vinedresser.  Can Lazarus trust Jesus to be the fulfillment of everything for which he has longed?

This is the first book of a new series by the Thoene’s the follows the relationship of Lazarus and Jesus.  The book was filled with so much information about the painstaking job of the vinedresser as he coaxes his vines to produce the best fruit.  It gave me a new perspective on all of Jesus’ teaching about Him as the Vine and we being His branches.  The storyline was well developed and easy to follow, but a little slow in places.  I had a few questions about whether Mary the sister of Lazarus was the same woman that Jesus saved from a stoning by the religious leaders on accusations of prostitution.  I had never really thought that they were the same so it skewed my view of the story a little.  However, I know that the Thoene’s are excellent researchers and they may have drawn this conclusion from their extensive studies.  I can overlook our differences for the sake of the story.  The important thing is that they got Jesus right in the book -  loving, kind, master teacher, peacemaker, God in the flesh.   Overall, I grade this book an A-: not my favorite Thoene book, but I’ll definitely be looking for book 2, because even though I know how it ends……, I’ve got to know how the story ends!

I received a free e-version of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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