Friday, August 23, 2013

When Jesus Wept by Bodie and Brock Thoene (Book Review)

The familiar story of  Lazarus found in the Gospels is told from the perspective of  the man himself. Lazarus is the one speaking to us, the readers, describing the tumultuous political and religious climate of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, (as well as the underlying strain in his own life and family) and telling of the Stranger Who is causing such a stir: Jesus. Of course, we already know that Lazarus dies and is resurrected, but "hearing" Lazarus describe how it happened and how he felt, in his own words, was pretty amazing. 

Knowing that Bodie and Brock Thoene are excellent authors, I was excited to review this book. True to their style When Jesus Wept was obviously well-researched and written straight from the heart. The Thoene's attention to detail and their ability to make the reader see, smell, and feel the surroundings described in the book is unrivaled by any other author. I was impressed with how they tied in Scripture and actual happenings with fictional characters and events in such a unique way. I found the subplot of Patrick the slave one of the most heartwarming elements of the book. The description of Jesus forgiving Mary and of her transformation were touching, and the Lazarus household's battle with locusts in their vineyards was quite suspenseful. 

I did find the book a little dry in places and hard to get into, and didn't really start to enjoy it until I was about halfway through. I didn't truly connect with this book as much as I had hoped, but I did find it though-provoking. It isn't the kind of book one reads and promptly forgets.

In my opinion, though beautifully written and true to the Thoene style, When Jesus Wept is not a favorite. I prefer their series, The Zion Chronicles.

Book Description

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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