Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review - When Jesus Wept

 Book 1 in the Thoene's new Jerusalem Chronicles.
 Lazarus occupies a surprising position in the Gospel accounts. Widely known as the man Jesus raised from the dead, his story is actually much broader and richer than that. Living as he did at Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus was uniquely placed to witness the swirl of events around Jesus. When Jesus Wept, the first novel in The Jerusalem Chronicles series by bestselling authors Bodie and Brock Thoene, unfolds the turbulent times in Judea during Jesus' ministry, centering on the friendship between Jesus and Lazarus. With rich insights from vineyard owners and vine dressers, the Thoenes explore the metaphor of Jesus as the True Vine, harvesting the ancient secrets found in the Old Testament. Weaving the life of Lazarus, who owned a vineyard, into the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ will help you understand it is the hand of Love Divine that holds the knife, that cuts and breaks with such tender and loving touch, and that we who have born some fruit, after the pruning, can bear much more. 
Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) are bestselling authors of over sixty-five works of historical fiction. Their timeless classics have sold more than thirty-five million copies and won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards. The Thoenes have four grown children and eight grandchildren. They divide their time between Hawaii, London, and Nevada.

Find out more about Bodie and Brock at http://www.thoenebooks.com/
I have been a fan of the Thoene's for many years so I knew that this would be a compelling book, well written and well researched. I was totally right!

This book is written from the point of view of Lazarus, the man whom Jesus raised from the dead. I love how the Thoenes give everything depth of character and we feel like we really know Lazarus, as well as Mary and Martha.

Of course, this is a novel so, while we can't know all the indepth things about these people, the basics of Scripture are there and they do not deviate from what we do know from God's Word. 

I really enjoyed how the authors showed the closeness of Jesus with this family. We know from Scripture how much he loved them and this book really focuses on his friendship with them.  I also enjoyed how we are helped to understand the historical events of this time - the politics, the Romans and their mistreatment of the Jewish people, and the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders (which we know to be true from Jesus' words to them in the Bible). I actually teared up several times during the reading of this book because of the tenderness I felt in several situations. 

It is a little disconcerting to read a fictional book that involves Jesus, at least for me. I don't want to have any ideas in my head about the Lord that aren't truly Biblical. Although there was nothing in this book that made me feel uneasy or question the Thoene's beliefs, there was still that thought in the back of my head the whole time I was reading it. 

This is truly a beautiful story, though, written beautifully. I was not disappointed and found it hard to sit the book down, in fact. I think you would definitely enjoy this book as much as I did!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE 

Blessings - Julie

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