I was given the opportunity by author Jim Jackson to review his book Days with Jesus. It is a book designed to help the reader understand the life and times of Jesus through the eyes of John.
Each day begins with a passage of scripture from the Gospel of John. After reading the selection, Jackson then offers a brief story that introduces the theme of that day’s passage and then gives some devotional thoughts and teaching, which are followed up by questions the reader can answer to apply the truths from that day’s reading.
Along with the book, the website Days with Jesus offers other resources including videos shot on location in Israel, a blog page and a devotional page. I watched a few of the videos and thought they added a nice visual touch to the readings in the book.
As far as the book, I thought Jackson’s writing style made the material easy to read and understandable. The stories that were used at the beginning of each chapter introduced the topic well. Many of those stories are from Jackson’s life and personal experience and it helps the reader relate to the subject matter. He used a good mix of humor throughout the chapters.
Since Jesus lived among and spoke to a group of people who lived under Old Testament guidelines, it would be important for the reader to understand things like Passover, what a Pharisee was and what it meant for the Jews to live under Roman rule. Jackson did a good job of providing background information without boring those who already understand that context and also not speaking over the heads of those who don’t. A section in the back of the book called For Your Information provides additional information for those who would desire it.
As one who serves in youth ministry in the local church,I think Days with Jesus would be a good tool for students who are seeking a devotional resource or for a small group who desires to study the life of Jesus together.
If you are looking for a study of Jesus, looking for something different for your devotional time or wondering what to add to your reading list, pick up Days with Jesus.
Here is one of the videos from the website. Jackson calls them docuvotionals.