About This Blog

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus" (Charles H Dyer)

TITLE: Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus: A Holy Land Devotional
AUTHOR: Charles H. Dyer
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2012, (256 pages).

This book is the work of an experienced traveler in the Middle East. Currently a Professor at large at Moody Bible College, he is well qualified to reflect on Jesus' life on earth throughout Jerusalem and the holy land. Each day, Dyer highlights a place, draws out some biblical insights from both the Old and the New Testaments, and invites readers to spend the day reflecting on the life of Jesus, and the significance of the places Jesus walked. The author has several purposes in the book:

  • Enable readers to locate the stories in the Bible with the original places;
  • See the profound meanings behind the contexts of each place
  • Encounter Jesus personally through the devotional and reflections
  • Understand more accurately the Bible as one tours the land
  • Loving the God of the Word more.

Beginning with the birthplace of Jesus, Dyer probes the humble beginnings of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He magnifies the arduous physical conditions of the wilderness where Jesus was sorely and surely tempted. He links the Old Testament imagery as Jesus was driven out of Nazareth, on how Jesus painfully tries to speak into the hearts of a hardened people. He tour the mountains and the valleys, the buildings and the synagogues, the seas and the wilderness. In case readers miss out the finer details, Dyer helpfully provides a summary section to enable readers to reflect more thoughtfully. There are some places which are not as well known, such as Chorazin called the 'Capernaum with a view' and the ancient harbour at the small town of Gergesa. There is a day dedicated to the temple in which Jesus not once but twice drove out merchants hawking wares at the temple. There is the Upper Room reflection, in which Dyer dispels the Italian portrait made famous by Leonardo Da Vinci, and argues that the actual room and furniture are totally different from DaVinci's depiction. While many people use daVinci's Last Supper portrait to locate the individual disciples, Dyer depends on the text and his knowledge of the Upper Room designs in that area.

This book tells us a lot about the physical contexts during the days of Jesus. It takes one who loves the Bible in order to piece together the rich gospel stories, the history of Israel, and the lessons that we can learn from. If you are planning to tour the holy land, this book serves as an indispensable guide for your travel. For the rest of us who may not have the privilege to travel there, this book will enable us to appreciate Jesus and the people during the times of Jesus, leading up to the crucifixion and beyond. Yet, like Day 28's reflection on the road to Calvary, the commercialization and modernism of the world continues to hide the biblical significance of the physical locations. It takes the knowledgeable, the perceptive, and the reflective person to see the meaning behind the stones, the sand, and the seas of activity. Thanks to the scholarship and continued passions of people like Dyer, readers in lands far away from the Middle East have a treasure of information and biblical pictures to appreciate what it means to be a believer during the times of Jesus. Hopefully, through the devotion, we will come away not only with a better appreciation, but as people loving Jesus more each day.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Moody Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered are mine unless otherwise stated.

No comments:

Post a Comment