Several years ago I asked the Lord to reveal His heart to me. That’s a bit of a scary request, I know…but I was sincere. Several things took place immediately thereafter, including my being introduced to a four-tape film set titled “The Gospel According to Matthew.” In it, actor Bruce Marchiano – who plays Jesus – showed viewers a side to the Messiah as we’d never witnessed before.


Dubbed “the smiling Jesus,” Bruce’s performance was widely acclaimed. Personally I didn’t care what the rest of the world thought. What mattered to me was that my view of Jesus changed. Jesus…bursting into laughter. Jesus …teaching by using a few playful shenanigans to make His point. Jesus…weeping for those who could not see who He was…and is…and shall always be.


Well, I can’t tell you how excited I was when Bruce Marchiano’s newest book (after "Matthew" he went on to be a best-selling author), “Jesus Wept” (Howard Publishing) landed on my desk. I set up a time for us to chat about his writing, his screen work, and about…Jesus!


Wanna listen in?


Eva: There were two or three things in the movie that touched me more than the rest. The first is when you, as Jesus, looked at young Matthew and without saying any words, said, “Follow me.” The second was at the end when you repeat the words, “Lo I will be with you always, even to the end of the age. ...” I actually began to weep.


Bruce: Oh, that can hurt a guy. One look at my face, huh? (Laughing)


Eva: No, no, no. That’s not what I mean. (Laughing with him.)


Bruce: I’m just joking with you. ...


Eva: I know. (More laughter) Okay, the third thing was at the very, very end of the video when you are walking toward the Sea of Galilee. You turn around … wonderful music is swelling behind you. ...


Bruce: That was good music.


Eva: ... and you are laughing ... and you say something. Now, Bruce this will be the most important question I ask in this interview. ...


Bruce: (Teasing in his voice) What am I saying?


Eva: What are you saying?


Bruce: (More teasing) I never answer that question and I never will. (Bela Lugosi laughter) I’m so mean! Actually, I don’t remember what I said.


Eva: Really!


Bruce: Yeah…to be honest. I’ve been asked that about a million times, and I really don’t know what I said. I’m sorry to say, it had nothing to do with ... it wasn’t spiritual. The director played a game with me. He just let the camera roll, and I was running out of space to walk so I turned around and said something like “Stop playing games with me.” He was very clever because he wanted to get that second smile. But, I could feel the moment. I could feel the wind blowing ... and the joy of it all.