This book should be considered a classic! I am not exactly sure how Sally Lloyd Jones managed to take all these overly familiar stories and write them in such a fresh and original way, but I am so glad she did.
The first thing that she does is explain what the Bible is. It is not a book of rules. There are rules to follow in the Bible, but it is so much more.
The Bible tells a story. It tells God's story. It's about a Prince who loses his first love and then goes to the end of the earth to get his princess back. In essence, it is a love story.
And that is just the beginning.
One of my favorite Bible stories is Jonah and the big fish. This book does a top-notch job showing how Jonah got in a book going to in the exact opposite direction of Ninevah! The description of the boat and being thrown overboard are vivid.
Jonah is in the belly of the fish and he doesn't like it down there. He spends three days in the the belly thinking about the fact that he went in the opposite direction. He begins to feel very foolish and prays to God to forgive him. The fish gets some kind of tickle in his throat, opens his mouth, and throws Jonah on shore. Where does he go?
He goes to Ninevah. He goes to tell them God's message.
What I love about this story, and other stories, is that Sally pulls out the link between Jesus and Jonah. Jonah was hidden in the belly of the fish for three days, before he miraculously shows up on shore to do what God originally asked him to do. Jesus was also hidden from the world for three days when everyone thought he had died, and then he came back to life.
Sally Lloyd Jones tells each story simply and deliberately. It's perfect for little ears. It's perfect for big ears. It's perfect for anyone looking for a fresh take on so many Bible stories.
If it were possible, I would love for Sally to write about the life of Paul. He has more than a few dramatic moments and I think her writing style could handle the beauty in the life of Paul. From him witnessing the stoning of Stephen, to his dramatic conversion of the road to Damascus, three days in darkness (again, like Christ), the myriad of meetings with other churches, Holy Spirit moments, and how common sense does not make sense at the end, Paul's life is vivid.
But it was the publisher who limited the stories past the life of Jesus.
The Jesus Storybook Bible is a classic. It should be read by the young and the old and everyone in between. It should be read by you!
Go ahead and pick it up at the nearest bookstore if you haven't!
And remember that Jesus loves you with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love!