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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

You Will Be Called Peter by Jerry Lathan and Steven H. Manchester

Have you ever considered for one moment, the lives of each of the apostles of Jesus Christ? What they were doing before Jesus called any of them to follow Him? 

In the latest book from Steven H. Manchester and Jerry Lathan, the reader is taken directly into the life of one of the most popular apostles, Simon, who would also be called Peter by Jesus. We know only what the Bible tells us in each of the 4 major gospels, but we also can glean that there was far more that happened in their lives during the three years that they followed Jesus. 

I think for most of us, we can identify with the life of Simon. A fisherman by trade, he understood the hard work required in order to not only provide for him and his wife, but in working with his brother Andrew, their day to day income wasn't a guarantee. Sometimes they didn't catch enough to pay what they needed and many times they needed to go back in the evenings as well. As most Jewish men during that time, he was familiar with the promise of the coming Messiah, who they believed would rescue them from the Roman restraint that felt like a yoke upon all of their necks, not only to live under their self imposed rules, but also to pay the taxes Roman required to expand their ever growing empire. 

So when Simon heard from his friends John and James, fellow fishermen, that they met Jesus who they believed to be the Messiah, the One that they had been waiting for, he couldn't wait to see how Roman occupation would fall under his hands and restore the Jewish people to the place of prominence in the eyes of the world, as God's chosen people. Even his wife was supportive of the task of following Jesus.

"You haven't only been called, Simon, you have been chosen. Your true path is before you." Simon considered his new place in the world. After all that's happened, of course, I need to follow him. He grinned. No matter where it takes me."

But the reality of Simon's journey is an honest and human one as the reader is taken along the journey with the other apostles as Jesus begins his ministry from turning water into wine at a wedding they were invited to, to being an eye witness to everything Jesus did from miracles, healing and the wisdom of His sermons. 

What I love most about this book, is that we get a sense of what Simon Peter had to struggle with, wanting Jesus to be the answer to taking down the Romans, and then coming to terms when he missed out on what the Bible had promised first, that Jesus would not only die, but that Simon would be the one to deny he knew Jesus after He had told him he would. Simon Peter had to deal with his own faith challenges. So many questions, and often times, the answers would come through his own walk of faith on the water of a storm. "Maybe I just need to believer without having to understand how or why?"

As the reader continues into the journey, you find yourself asking many of the same questions Simon did, "As they continued on, Simon was left to wonder about his own place in history. What is all of this for...the blisters, the haters and the zealots, their threats? The uncertainty. Missing my family. No longer fishing and being out on the water I love. He looked around at his ragtag band of fellow travelers, before his eyes reached Jesus at the head of the park. Will any of this make a difference? Will we be remembered? Simon feared what all mean fear-being forgotten. Only time will tell I guess." 

I have had the honor of reviewing every book that Steven H. Manchester has even written and the one thing that is constant in all of his novels, is the ability to transport the reader right into the heart of the story. In this novel, we are Simon's friend, part of his family. The reader is taken along with his personal struggles of what he believes and what he is witnessing. His own faith struggles as he follows Jesus on his ministry and what will happen afterwards. I couldn't wait to read this one and was captivated by how heart wrenching Simon's life must have been from his humble beginnings to his triumphant restoration of faith in Jesus' ministry. He is a life that is forever changed as is every reader who picks up this novel. I can easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. 

You can find more information about his books and more on his website by clicking below: 

Steven H. Manchester

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