Pastor, writer, and public speaker Mark Littleton has assembled a wide-ranging and fascinating collection of facts, stories, and statements about the life and ministry of Jesus. Each entry is arranged alphabetically by topic beginning with "Abba" and ending with "WWJD: What If We Did Everything as Jesus Would Do?"
Here are some of the interesting insights to be gleaned from this lively compendium. Although Reynolds Price, the novelist, believes that "a serious argument can be made that no one else's life has proved remotely as powerful and enduring as that of Jesus," the man from Nazareth isn't even listed in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. The Encyclopedia Brittanica entry on Jesus devotes over 40,000 words to him, more than any other person.
According to Littleton, the Bible never records him as laughing or as being a dreamer. He did get angry on three occasions and wept over Jerusalem. Although his impact on the world has been incredible, he never traveled outside Israel during his three-year ministry.
The author quotes the reference to Jesus in Paul Simon's song "Mrs. Robinson," reveals Handel's motivation for writing the "Messiah," and comments on novels and movies about Jesus. And finally, there are the customs that grew up around his name such as crossing your heart. This act of devotion was "an early Christian gesture signifying one's sincerity. It invoked Jesus as witness to the gravity of a statement or act."