Happy Easter!! I thought that it would be fitting on this day that we celebrate Jesus death and resurrection to also celebrate his amazing and world shattering life-and that’s exactly what Max Lucado does in Next Door Savior: Near Enough to Touch, Strong Enough to Trust

Often I think when you grow up with the Bible it’s too easy to box in your thinking about the characters in the Bible. Max does the best job I know of breaking me out of this “mental rut” and causing me to see the stories with fresh eyes for what they are–real people with real emotions, real lives, real problems. This book focuses on the most important person of all time–Jesus! It gives us insight into his life and why it matters so much to those of us! It helps shake up mistaken thoughts we might have of the Son of God and shows us his true heart.  Consider the passage below:

“And look for a single mom. The absence of Joseph in the adult life of Jesus suggested that Mary may have raised him and the rest of the kids alone. We need a simple home with a single mom and an ordinary laborer. Jesus’ neighbors remembered him as a worked. “He’s just a carpenter” (Mark 6:3 MSG)

Jesus had dirty hands, sweat-stained shirts, and–this may surprise you–common looks. “No stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” (Isa. 53:2)

Drop-dead smile? Steal-your-breath physique? No. Heads didn’t turn when Jesus passed. If he was anything like his peers, he had a broad peasant’s face, dark olive skin, short curly hair, and a prominent nose. He stood five feet one inch tall and weighed about 110 pounds. Hardly worthy of a GQ Cover.”

Max takes a few verses and fact that I’ve known my entire life and turns them on their head–how can I complain about being “plain” when the Savior of the Universe chose to not be physically attractive? How easily that one little passage opens up a whole litany of thoughts!

The entire book is full of gems like this–facts about our “Next Door Savior” that we all need to stop and look at with fresh eyes! Once again Max does not disappoint, I love his books and would highly recommend this one especially!

Nicole Elliott