- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: Aneko Press; 3 edition (July 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1622453646
- ISBN-13: 978-1622453641
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Just Saw Jesus: The JESUS Film – From Vision, to Reality, to the Unimaginable 3rd Edition
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I think the JESUS film is one of the great tools for evangelism. . . . This single project has been probably one of the most effective in getting the ear and the hearts of a lost world. --Franklin Graham, President, Samaritan's Purse
. . . the film is shaking up the rest of us on the home front who are emblazoned and emboldened to proclaim Christ to our own communities. --Joni Eareckson Tada, President, JAF Ministries
“I think the JESUS film is one of the great tools for evangelism. . . . This single project has been probably one of the most effective in getting the ear and the hearts of a lost world.” – Franklin Graham President, Samaritan’s Purse “. . . the film is shaking up the rest of us on the home front who are emblazoned and emboldened to proclaim Christ to our own communities. – Joni Eareckson Tada President, JAF Ministries
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In stark contrast to the vast majority of books I receive from this particular publisher, this book was not for a particular blog tour for a particular week-long period, but rather came with the instruction to read and give a fair review as soon as possible. In looking at the book and its remarkable content, it is easy to understand why. The reader of this book short book of 180 or so pages, with some excellent photographs of the film-making process included as well, will likely have at least a few thoughts about this book. My first thought upon reading the book, and the author's discussion of its immense success, was: "How come I've never heard of this film before?" Until I remembered that at least one family member of mine had, at least at one time, the VHS copy of this thirty-five year old film about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ taken from the Gospel account of Luke, which is admittedly not the most obvious source I would have used, as the combination of Matthew and John is far more likely, and contains notable details like the crown of thorns that the Gospel of Luke pointedly does not include, and has been the source of considerable controversy for the film with some Christian audiences.
In terms of the contents of the book, the book combines several threads together, the point of which becomes clear at the end. Like many of the other books from this publisher, much of the book consists of enthusiastic and possibly miraculous examples of divine providence through the decidedly independent showing of the Jesus film in unlikely places like a warrior camp for the Masai, decidedly Muslim villages in Indonesia, or remote and decrepit villages in South and Southeast Asia from India to Thailand, as well as to refugee camps and villages of "unreached" peoples in obscure corners of North America. The book has an episodic nature, discussing first one of the more dramatic stories of the film's impact in Africa, then going back to pick up the thread of narrative of the production and financing of the work, the efforts taken to dub the film into as many languages as possible to use the movie as an aid to evangelism, and some of the dramatic stories of the brave people who took the film out to remote villages and neighborhoods racked by war in places like El Salvador and Lebanon, some of whom saw divine protection and blessing of their efforts, and others who suffered for Jesus' sake, paying a price for seeking to proclaim a part of the Gospel in dangerous situations.
The end of the book leaves the reader with a call to support the efforts of Campus Crusade for Christ in showing the film to audiences which have yet to see it, to engaging in short missionary trips, to download the film on their smart phone via scanner codes in the book itself. For readers who are already predisposed to cheer on the message that Jesus Christ has offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins and wishes for all to repent of their wicked ways and turn their hearts in obedience to Him, this book is certainly an encouraging account. Nevertheless, many readers will likely be left with quite a few questions and nagging concerns after finishing this book. With the praise of the book's massive impact in opening the door to evangelism efforts among Western secularists, tribal shamanists, Muslims and Buddhists, and those for whom Christianity is merely an ancestral identity and not a token of a personal relationship with God, the reader is left to wonder about how the massive number of people whose curiosity and interest was piqued by the film will be led into deeper understanding and obedience, since God does not wish to be honored by our lips, but by our deeds through a heart filled with love for God with all our strength and might and a love for others as ourselves. Likewise, the reader is left to wonder about the cross-currents between efforts at missionary work abroad and the disastrous and precipitous decline of practical Christianity within our own society and the rise of insecurity and violence within our larger world. This is a book that can be read quickly, but which provokes thought and reflection that continues after the book is finished.
All around the world, starting in the U.S. and going to places film crews had never been before, missionaries and film crews showed the movie, JESUS to crowds of hundreds, even thousands. At the end of each filming, the viewers were asked to "come to the light" (a literal light in the darkness of some places that had never even seen electricity!) if they wanted to received Jesus. And many, many people came. This film made it to places that as I just said, had never even seen electric light before. The film crews and missionaries presenting this film had to go up against much opposition; witch doctors, government officials, high ranking religious leaders, and much more. Not to mention the terrain they had to battle! The book opens with the author and missionary Steve Dudugjian *walking* through Africa to reach the Maasai warrior tribes.
The film was translated into many different languages so people like the Karamojong could watch it. People from the Solomon Islands, remote villages in India, Indonesia, Africa, Thailand, Swaziland, and so many more were watching Jesus speak to them in their own language.
Wherever the film went, there was not only opposition, but plenty of miracles. A witch doctor placed a curse on an entire village, but nothing happened. A small girl was healed from dysentery through prayer and the laying on of hands. They didn't just show the film and leave either. The missionaries stayed and trained locals how to lead Bible study groups, prayer groups, and start churches.
What struck me most about the testimonies in this book is how hungry the people of other countries are for the Gospel. This quote summed it up well for me: "How different from America where we so often feel the need to court and entertain our church members to keep them coming. Here in India in the face of persecution and hardship, this incredible brother pastors four churches and leads five prayer groups." If only American Christians had half that dedication.
I would highly recommend this book...as a Christian, it has inspired and motivated me to pray for other countries and peoples who have not yet heard the Gospel. This is a fantastic, inspiring book of the power of Jesus.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Aneko Publishing at no cost in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.
The book shares their stories. How one book changed so many lives. It's a great story. A powerful tale of the power of belief. Belief that overcame language barriers, miles, oceans, politics, religion and so much more. This is a story about a movement and invites readers to join in the movement by supporting the mission and sharing the story of the film.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for this review. The views expressed above are mine.