I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is easy to read and makes the gospels come alive with the way Temkin expertly weaves together stories from her own life with stories about Jesus and his disciples. I really liked that Jesus and his followers seemed like real people with real character defects and struggles. I liked even more that Temkin especially focuses on Jesus' humanity. She shows him as a person that struggled with confusion and frustration, often exasperated by his followers failure to get what he was trying to say. He was someone who wanted support and who often failed to get enough. Since Jesus was human, he was a person that made mistakes and experienced complex emotion. Temkin gives us insight as to what some of his mistakes and emotions might be. I appreciate that kind of insight, as I cannot relate to a perfect person as my savior.
My favorite chapter was chapter 17, "On the Hill Beyond Time," which is about Jesus' execution. Her writing is very effective and really touched me. I loved how she equates the suffering that Jesus experienced with all the sufferings that people have experienced throughout all time past, present and future. Often Jesus is portrayed as this superhuman who has no worries at all, but Temkin knows this cannot be so. Her Jesus sees his mother at the foot of the cross and is consumed with guilt and worry over her. He feels unable to do anything to comfort her and in reality, he is unable. He simply has to deal with the pain that he is experiencing right now and receives no comfort from God. Oddly enough, this image of an uncomforted Jesus gives me much comfort. If even the son of God felt totally alone and abandoned by God at times, then I can take comfort in knowing in my times of anguish that I am not alone. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we cannot hear the voice of God, but Jesus' experience proves that God is still there. Feelings are not facts. Recovery from borderline personality disorder has taught me that sometimes I cannot trust my intense feelings, but must instead cling to what I believe to be true.
I recommend this book for an insightful, emotional and thought-provoking read.