Jesus: A Pilgrimage, the latest book by Father James Martin, is one of those rare books that come along once in a lifetime. Based upon his personal journey to the Holy Land in 2012, the book is hard to fit into any one category. Part journal, part bible study, and part personal reflection, this book is one thing if nothing else…….exceptional.
Story after story is depicted in this manner. First you will find out how Father Martin made it to the site than the details from the Gospels are laid out. You will read Father Martin’s personal reflections on the event. Throughout all of this you can feel Father Martin’s excitement and wonder coming through the pages. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience for him and we are fortunate he took the opportunity to share it with us.
The book is arranged in chronological order as events appear in the Gospels. Father Martin begins with the Annunciation and weaves his way from one well known Gospel event to another. You almost feel as if you are right there alongside Father Martin throughout the book. You will stand upon the shores of The Sea of Galilee with him as he details the landscape and talks of the calling of the First Disciples. You will accompany him to Capernaum and read about the healing of the possessed man. A little farther in the journey you will be in Jericho, than Bethany. Finally, you will walk with Father Martin as he traces the footsteps of Christ from Jerusalem to Golgatha and his triumphant resurrection and revelation on the road to Emmaus. These are just a few of the many places you will read about that serve as a backdrop to the events in the life of Jesus Christ.
In the preface Father Martin mentions the almost inconceivable magnitude of this project. I must say, after reading this book, one can only imagine the amount of work that went into it. In the end, and nearly 500 pages later, you will find it is a project he pulled off amazingly well.
If you are looking for an insightful read into the life of Christ this book must be on your list. The blend of sights and insights from Father Martin just plain works and pulls the reader into the Gospels in a way they likely have never been before. Short of visiting the Holy Land yourself, I can think of no better way to experience the locations where Jesus walked , taught and performed many miracles than reading this book. Bravo Father Martin on the book of a lifetime.
I received a copy of the book for this review from the publisher Harper One.