Author:     Beth Moore (with Dale McCleskey)
Publisher: Broadman & Holman Publishers

A book with a title like Jesus, the One and Only sounds intimidating to an author charged with the task of painting a word portrait of Christ.  And author Beth Moore freely admits that this assignment was a monumental undertaking and humbling experience for her.  After all, Jesus is the Son of God as well as the Son of Man.  Any attempt to describe Him will always fall short of all He actually is.  But Moore’s approach--presenting snapshots of Christ’s life from the Gospel of Luke--proves effective.

Jesus, the One and Only helps readers use their imaginations to make biblical accounts of Christ come alive for them.  Moore is careful to point out that this process doesn’t involve changing Scripture’s meaning.  Rather, it involves praying about the concrete biblical information, asking the Holy Spirit to help fill in details that can help shed new light on a particular passage’s meaning.  Moore encourages readers to imagine what Jesus might have looked like, for example, or what the people who interacted with him may have been feeling during those encounters.  Doing so really does breathe new life into familiar Scripture passages.

Written in the style of a letter (albeit one that goes on for 337 pages), the book draws readers into Moore’s ongoing commentary on Christ’s life.  Moore addresses readers as her friends and siblings in Christ, building rapport with them as if she were a fellow traveler on a journey through the Holy Land.  But, unfortunately, Moore’s habit of telling readers how thrilled she is by her own narrative is frequently irritating.  It’s not necessary to constantly tell readers how much she loves the study, and how interesting it is; readers should discover that themselves.

Throughout the book, Moore explains the Greek and Hebrew meanings of many words in the Scripture passages she cites.  This, too, is a helpful practice, helping readers engage more fully with God’s Word.