Publisher: Howard Books
Book Review: The Friends of Jesus
The Friends of Jesus is a sweet book. Karen Kingsbury wrote this from the perspective of sharing the lives of six people that were blessed to call Jesus friend. While there were many that had this blessing, she focused on six people that she felt would allow us to get a better understanding of how they may have been drawn to Him and how being His friend changed their lives. She felt we would see ourselves in one of them, but you actually may find that you see a little of yourself in each of them.
The Friends of Jesus:
Simon, the Leper: Follow along with Simon as he goes from a law-abiding Pharisee one day to a leper the next. Karen Kingsbury painted such a painful image of what it might have been like for a leper during the time of Jesus. Before I read this, I don’t think I’d given a great deal of thought has to how deep their pain was. This was a real eye-opener for me. It’s wonderful to see how Jesus touched not only Simon’s body but his heart as well. If you’ve ever felt the sharp pain of loss and rejection, you may relate of Simon.
Martha, the Broken-Hearted: This was a story of the deep pain Martha felt at the loss of someone she loved dearly and how she felt a sense of betrayal from Jesus for not being there when her, and her family need Him the most. Has there been a point in your life that you thought that He wasn’t there or you couldn’t understand why it didn’t seem that He showed up when you need Him the most? If so, then Martha’s story will resonate with you. Follow along as she learns some valuable lessons, gains some insights and has her heart changed forever.
Jairus, the Two-Faced Leader: Ever feel like you thought you had God and His plan all figured out? Maybe not completely but just one area of your life? Ever fake being someone’s friend, just to be polite or to serve your own purpose? If so, you may connect with Jairus. Jairus learns what being a true friend is all about. It takes God moving in a mighty way in this man’s life to make the heart change that he didn’t even know he needed.
Mary Magdalene, the Demon-Possessed: Ever have things happen to you that you didn’t understand? Especially when your life was going so well? This was perhaps the most difficult story in the book, as you journey with Mary through her days of demon-possession and what that might have been like for her. Mary gets to experience both the depths of torment and the heights of being loved by God and called His friend.
Peter, the Betrayer: Ever let someone down? Every betray someone you cared about? Ever do anything that the pain of regret and guilt threatened to suffocate you? Peter was a close friend of Jesus and this is a glimpse of what he may have experienced as a result of one of the worse times and decisions of his life. See how the love and forgiveness of Jesus, his friend, and Lord, transforms him.
John, the Arrogant Disciple: Ever think you were the stuff? Ever think you were better than others, even one person? John learns some tough and humbling lessons on his journey with his friend and Savior, Jesus. He learns lessons that alter his life long after Jesus died and was resurrected. The struggle of putting oneself last to be first and to think of others more than ourselves is a timeless message and seems as needed today as any time in history.
Though the experiences are different, the lessons are similar. I saw a little of myself in each of their struggles and perhaps you will too. I enjoyed this book and Karen Kingsbury thoughts of what might have happened between the lines of Scripture. While we are told so much, there is still a lot that we are not told of the lives of those that walked and talked with our Lord, those that called Him friend. This was a great depiction of what their lives might have been like before Him and as a result of knowing Him.
I would recommend The Friends of Jesus for anyone that would like to dive a little deeper into the lives of those that interacted with Him. From their perspective, you may find, like I did, that your faith will increase and your heart can move just a little closer to His. I didn’t know what to expect from reading this book but enjoyed the journey. It’s a short book, packed with short stories that are all woven together and I believe this book will warm your heart on the coldest of days.
I hope you found this review helpful. If so, please share it with your family and friends, so they can learn about this great book too. You can click on any image of the book on this page to see it on Amazon.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review and God bless!