A novel about an imagined life of Jesus Christ from debut author Rainbow.
After Judas Iscariot has a dream involving an “image of a gaunt, tunic-clad man with a light beard,” it’s not long before he comes across Jesus of Nazareth. Though there are many in Jerusalem proclaiming miracles, Judas inherently knows only one of them can be the man he’s looking for. Likewise, emerging from the desert, Jesus has had his own dream of meeting a man of Judas’ description. Inviting Jesus to his home so that he may bathe, it’s soon obvious to Judas that he’s not dealing with any simple desert wanderer. After healing a wound inflicted upon Judas by an angry Roman, Jesus explains, “my Father bade me to go forth in this body as His Son, to offer forgiveness for mankind’s sins.” And go forth he does. Gaining followers amongst Judas’ initially skeptical friends Peter and Matthew, Jesus makes statements such as, “I have come not only to heal, but also to teach God’s truth and spread God’s love so that people can learn how to keep from wounding themselves and instead, prosper and co-create with God’s will.” Gaining enemies along with friends, Jesus’ mission continues with aspects found in the Bible as well as many that are not. This novel’s version of Jesus is not only more humanized than most (he’s very capable of feeling lust), it’s also less cryptic (as in his explanation of a person’s soullike “essence”: “One’s Essence can never be destroyed and exists before one’s birth and after the death of one’s physical body”). Notable for its treatment of Judas as far from the greedy betrayer so often portrayed, the story offers a novel, more personal view of the disciples and their master. Although the traditional bad guys, such as Pontius Pilate and Herod, are painted with broad strokes, the book on a whole creates a sympathetic Jesus with whom one might want to converse, even if some of the savior’s statements veer toward the stilted, as in his explanation of why he likes Mary Magdalene: “it’s her sense of childlike comfort that gives me a feeling of being more settled within as chaos percolates all around me.”
A gentler view of Jesus that receptive readers will find intriguing.