Uncategorized, Words on Wednesdays

Book Review: In the Footsteps of Jesus

Lately I’ve been going through the biography section in the church library. In February, I brought home a book titled In the Footsteps of Jesus: One Man’s Journey Through the Life of Christ. The author is actor Bruce Marchiano, who portrayed Jesus in The Gospel According to Matthew.

Personally, I loved this book. I stayed up until almost ten for three days reading it. The writing style and details made the book hard to put down. The author shares the story of his life before he took the job, and the circumstances surrounding it. 

In 1991, Bruce saw a notice at church that read, “His Majesty’s Players, seeking professional actors for a Christian theatrical tour of Australia.” He was thrilled and quickly secured an audition. However, when talking with another actor, Bruce discovered that it was a missionary type trip, and he had absolutely no interest in going. He quickly canceled the audition. But, he writes, “It’s a difficult thing to explain, but the Lord wanted me to join His Majesty’s Players, and I knew it.”

 When Bruce received the news that His Majesty’s Players was fully cast, he was thrilled. But he decided to call the director and see if maybe he needed his help with directing. By the time he hung up, he was going on the tour. One of the actors had canceled at the last minute, so Bruce signed on and went to Australia.

After coming back from Australia, Bruce lost his job and had to deliver scripts to agencies and casting directors, people he had previously worked with. He didn’t know that on the other side of the planet, a casting director was searching for an actor to portray Jesus in The Gospel According to Matthew.

In 1992, Bruce arrived at the Hilton Hotel in L.A. to audition for the role of Jesus. When he left that day, he wasn’t sure if he would get the job. But when Bruce arrived home, he had a message from the director, asking to talk with him about doing the movie.

A year later, Bruce was flying to the South African town of Quarzazate to begin filming.

Because the movie script was the exact wording of Matthew, Bruce had to memorize it word for word, nothing left out or added in. He talks about all of the studying that he did beforehand. He would recite Matthew every time he could.

Throughout the book, Bruce shares his personal reflections on different chapters in Matthew and what he discovered about Jesus’ life and ministry while on set.

My favorite part of the book were the photos throughout. It’s one thing to read a story, but another to be able to see parts of that story in pictures. They help bring it to life and show some of the behind-the-scenes action.

This book has amazing storytelling and helped me to see more of Jesus’ life on earth. I would highly recommend it, giving it 5 out of 5 stars.


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