The Family of Jesus

I have been reading a lot lately; my newest author discovery is Karen Kingsbury. I noticed she has written many books, similar to Melody Carlson. Of course, curiosity got the best of me. Caving I gave in and brought the first book in the Angles Walking Series (by the way I highly recommend those books!) which I breezed through in a weekend. I enjoy Karen Kingsbury style of writing. She is creative and Christ-centered.

Typically, I read  contemporary  Christan fiction books with a pinch of romance. The Family of Jesus is a Biblical fiction book. I was not familiar at all with this genre. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about it. It was an amazing fiction experience that deepened my walk with Christ. The book is written from several points of view including Joseph, Mary, John the Baptist, Elizabeth, James, and Zarachria. Karen Kingsbury assists in bringing the Bible to life. Her words help the reader to experience God and his word in a new way – helping us consider details that are not included in the Bible. Especially, the emotions that must have consumed each of these individuals. It was like stepping into the Bible story and watching the events unfold such as Mary telling Joseph she was pregnant or John the Baptist convicting people and leading them to the Lord. The book was more than a good read, it helped me grow spiritually.

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While reading The Family of Jesus I had been doing some Gospel reading during my quiet time. I found myself going deeper in my time with God. I was encouraged to slow down during my Bible reading time and meditate more on the Scriptures.

God can use anything to bless us, bring Him glory, and bring us closer to him- even a fiction book.

Here is a short sample of the book:

“Jesus was not with them. “I know I saw Him.” Mary clung to Joseph, her face filled with fear. “He was with John when we left. He wouldn’t have stayed in Jerusalem, would He?” Joseph’s heart beat hard, his breath jagged and uneven. “We’ll find Him. Come on.” Together they searched the entire caravan, but Mary was right. Jesus was not with them. Terrified and begging God for answers, Mary and Joseph turned around and traveled as quickly as they could back to Jerusalem. They found Elizabeth and Zechariah first. Mary’s relatives were still in Jerusalem and John was with them. But none of them had seen Jesus.

Three long days passed and finally Joseph was out of answers. Never had he been so scared and confused. This time no angels spoke to him, no strangers came up to them to tell them things they didn’t know about their son. He was simply missing. Finally, on the third day, Joseph ran with Mary to the temple courts and there— sitting among the teachers—was Jesus. From a distance they watched, relieved and frustrated. The teachers seemed mesmerized by Him. He asked questions, but more than that, He provided answers. Tears filled Mary’s eyes as she watched their son. “Why would He do this?” she whispered. “Make us worry?” “Look at Him.” Joseph held Mary close, still at a distance from Jesus. “The teachers are amazed at His under- standing.”

Mary listened quietly. “Yes.” Her frightened eyes turned to Joseph’s. “But three days?” Jesus must’ve known they were there. He finished His conversation and then hurried over. “Son, why have You treated us like this?” Mary gathered Him in her arms, clearly as relieved as she was upset. “Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.” Jesus looked from Mary to Joseph and back again. “Why were you searching for Me?” His face looked as innocent as summer. “Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?” The words stabbed at Joseph’s heart. Though he loved Jesus with his whole being, this was the first time he truly understood his place. He was Jesus’s stepfather. Nothing more. Though Jesus returned with them to Nazareth, and though He remained obedient, His words stayed with Joseph. Never mind the rescue from Bethlehem or Egypt. It didn’t matter what Joseph had done to protect Jesus or how much he loved Mary. Forget the reality that Joseph had been there from the beginning. Joseph would never be Jesus’s father. That role belonged to God alone. “He has a different purpose,” Mary said to Joseph one night after they returned to Nazareth. “He does not belong to us. I understand that better now.” “Yes.” Joseph pulled her into his arms. “It scares me, Joseph.” (From karenkingsbury.com)

The words stabbed at Joseph’s heart. Though he loved Jesus with his whole being, this was the first time he truly understood his place. He was Jesus’s stepfather. Nothing more. Though Jesus returned with them to Nazareth, and though He remained obedient, His words stayed with Joseph. Never mind the rescue from Bethlehem or Egypt. It didn’t matter what Joseph had done to protect Jesus or how much he loved Mary. Forget the reality that Joseph had been there from the beginning. Joseph would never be Jesus’s father. That role belonged to God alone. “He has a different purpose,” Mary said to Joseph one night after they returned to Nazareth. “He does not belong to us. I understand that better now.” “Yes.” Joseph pulled her into his arms. “It scares me, Joseph.” (From karenkingsbury.com)

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