Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Review: His Name is Jesus

I'd like to thank the Thomas Nelson Book Bloggers Program for this lovely book. His Name is Jesus is a beautiful pictorial meditation on the high points of the life of Jesus. Thomas Nelson Publishers markets it as a gift book, and includes a matching case with the book.

Covering stories such as the Nativity, the calming of the storm, healing Jarius' daughter, feeding the five thousand, healing the blind man, the washing of the disciples feet and the crucifixion, the book is printed on glossy paper and is illustrated primarily with photographs of nature. The stories not only include the words of Jesus from scripture but also set the scene and point out the emotions of those in the story. For example, regarding the stoning of the woman caught in adultery, Lucado says of those questioning Jesus "Cocky with borrowed courage, the smirk as they watch the mouse go for the cheese". About the woman, at the end of the story, he says "Maybe she expected him to scold her. Perhaps she expected him to walk away from her. I'm not sure, but I do know this: What she got, she never expected. She got a promise and a commission. The promise: 'Then neither do I condemn you'. The commission: 'Go and sin no more'".

The book is really designed to be picked up and savored in short sessions, rather than read through. There is extensive use of calligraphy and poems are scattered here and there. As it is Holy Week, I'm using the sections on the passion this week.

Unfortunately, the book does have some flaws. The first is an omission. While Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is covered, as is the agony in the garden, there is no mention of the institution of the Eucharist. The second problem that I had was that when telling the story of Jesus giving Mary and John to each other, Lucado speaks of Mary having raised a house of full of children. We know she didn't have other children, and I have to wonder where Joseph's other children were when they went to Bethlehem, if they were young enough to need raising.

On the whole, however, it is a beautiful and inspiring book.

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