Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Review: Jesus Is My Best Friend - Read Lucado's His Name Is Jesus!

"My prayer is that as you read this book Jesus will emerge...to become the touchable face of a best friend..." (Preface)

Looking for the perfect gift for your Christian family or friends? Then please consider Max Lucado's latest book, His Name is Jesus! This truly is one of the most beautiful books I've seen, both inside and out. The book has a cover that is the same as the front and back--a true coffee-table book that you will want to keep out and read and enjoy over and over. The pictures, special artistic touches and page presentation forces readers to stop at each page turn to rejoice in the beauty.

Lucado's latest book brings together his writings on Christ's birth, his mission, death, resurrection, and his legacy. Many of our favorite Biblical stories about Jesus are included; however, it is Lucado's complementary words that reveal much time spent thinking about, pondering, and discovering what He wanted us to know about His life. I found it spiritually enlightening, inspirational, and memorable!

Many of us will stop and wonder what we would have done were we living at that time. For instance, Lucado points out that it wasn't enough for the shepherds or the Magi to see the symbols of His coming, the angels singing in such splendor. Would we have been so amazed that we ran to our friends to talk about those angels appearing and thrill at that, or would we, too, have immediately gone to find Him?

And have we stopped to think about Mary changing the diaper of Jesus, burping him, helping him to learn to walk? Lucado highlights that we must remember him as human, as he intended to be--he wanted to be here in the "mire and muck" of our world so that He would relate to us and share our loneliness, our disappointments, our hunger, as well as our joys.

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Jesus had decided to continue on as a carpenter and decide not to die on the cross? We all know He didn't deserve to die there! Jesus could have had a family, become a leader in His community. He could have had a wonderful successful life! Yes, He had doubts about fulfilling His role and Lucado's words will ensure that each reader reconsiders what options He had--and what options we would have had if...God had not sent His Son!

"Jesus... The man. The bronzed Galilean who spoke with such thunderous authority and loved with such childlike humility." (p. 31)

As a woman, one of the most memorable stories highlighted is about the woman with a bleeding disease. Due to Jewish law, her life was overtaken by menstrual dysfunction--she could not touch her husband or family, she could not cook, wash dishes, or even sweep the floor. She had nobody to help her, until she went to Jesus. Because Jesus touched the untouchables, he healed them and raised the dead--and he wiped the tears of those who cried.

Would we have been willing to stoop and wash the feet of our friends as Jesus did His disciples? Could we have become humble enough to allow him? There is much to be considered and reconsidered about our favorite stories. Max Lucado in His Name is Jesus provides an opportunity to renew your spiritual connection to Our Lord. Yes, this must be a "must read."

G. A. Bixler