Authors: Bodie & Brock Thoene
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-33598-6

“The cup had come to me, out of all those who had carried it or who might have found it over the centuries. I was the one appointed for this reason, even if I did not yet understand it,” young Nehemiah realizes in Bodie and Brock Thoene’s novel, Take This Cup.

Second in the Jerusalem Chronicle series, this three hundred and eighty-eight page paperback targets those interested in Christian fiction during Jesus’s life. With no profanity, the detailed historical facts with Biblical references would be apropos for preteen to adult readers. Caution should be noted the authors take fictional liberties with Biblical accounts that may confuse those who do not know the Scriptures. Helpful maps and notes are included. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this tome written in first person, young Nehemiah, named after the Old Testament prophet, lives with his shepherd father and wool-weaver mother near Gan Eden, a thousand miles away from Jerusalem during the Roman Empire.

At the mere age of eight, he feels he is born for a purpose when he hears the winds whisper he is to be “cupbearer to the King.” When he witnesses bandits attacking his parents, he flees to the mountainous caves with his teacher, Rabbi Kagba, who traveled thirty years ago to see the coming Messiah’s birth.

Hiding in the cave, they uncover the Holy Grail, the same cup Melchizedek gave to Abraham, and Joseph hid in his brother Benjamin’s bag in Egypt. Convinced his sole purpose is to present the old, tarnished cup to Jesus the Nazarene, Nehemiah decides to journey to Jerusalem.

By riding on a spiritual guide called the Great White Hart and having visions of the Biblical Joseph who transports him in his dreams to stories of Da, the little boy reflects on his Jewish background to seek the Almighty.

After the bandits follow him into the desert, he arrives in Jerusalem, befriends a gang of poor orphans, works for Joseph of Arimathea, and meets Lazarus along with other Bible characters. Promising to present the cup to Jesus, he learns its significance of God’s suffering and redemption through hope and faith.

Although a fictional tale of a very mature boy devoted to accomplishing his task, the read focuses on what the Sacrificial Lamb did so long ago for all of mankind.

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