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Manny and John

by Keith Ouzts


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Manny and John is a fun-filled, insightful look into the boyhood of John the Baptist, and his younger cousin, Emmanuel, or Manny for short. Manny is better known by his adult title, Jesus Christ - the Messiah.
Honing in on a short period in time after Mannys presentation at the temple, a well-known story found in the book of Luke, the author imagines what boys the age of 13 would do in Palestine. The most likely answer is, what boys have been doing for ages. They wrestled, climbed trees, threw rocks, dared each other to eat bugs, and generally had a grand old time while making a nuisance of themselves to adults and girls.
The story begins as the boys are part of a caravan heading to Nazareth from Jerusalem. Boys will be boys, and the author (being one himself) is capable of providing what is probably a fairly accurate description of conversations they might have had. After arriving in Nazareth, they work with Joseph in his carpenters shop, play with other boys, and then have great adventures.
The crux of the story is the discovery of a cave, subsequent capture by soldiers, dealings with zealots and the impact of all of these on the town of Nazareth. The author has woven events and people from the ministry of Jesus as an adult into the story, and has hoped to portray some of the thoughts the young savior might have had.
It is an honest story in addition to adventures and a sense of fun, there is sorrow, regret and pain. The reader will find that the author has managed to truly transport one from the here and now. Any book that is capable of drawing the reader in, making the reader a part of the story is worth reading. This book does so on an emotional and spiritual level.
One of the most difficult parts to tackle was based on the divinity of Jesus. As stated in the Bible, He was wholly human, and wholly divine. As an adult, His ministry was comprised of miracles, prophecy and wisdom unlike any other. Yet, how did this relate to His boyhood? As a boy, did He perform miracles? Did He heal members of His family or neighbors of their illnesses? Was He able to just be a good son to His earthly father? The author sought not to answer some of these types of questions, but to give an insight into how they might have been answered.
One of the questions that arose was, how does an innocent mistake fit in? Is that a sin? Since Jesus was without sin as an adult, He must have been without sin as a boy. But boys are so full of energy, of living life to the fullest that all boys make mistakes from time to time. Could Jesus have, in His humanity, made a mistake that was tantamount to a sin, yet still remain sinless? Again, the author wrote honestly about boys, while at the same time maintaining the reverence he feels for his Savior.
Hollywood has normally portrayed Jesus as a 6-foot, blue-eyed and with a British accent. It is easy to believe the divinity of Christ in that portrayal. The reality is that He was probably very middle-Eastern looking dark hair, eyes and skin. Again, seeking to be as realistic as possible in the portrayal of Jesus as a boy, the author researched the times and societies for authenticity of the story. The habits and mores of the citizens of Nazareth are documented with a true accuracy. As a historical novel, this book relates a first-class tale in a well-written and well-received fashion.
The author conceived of the idea while deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in the spring of 2003. As a career Marine, his first focus was mission accomplishment for himself and his unit. But the impact of living in a middle-eastern desert, much the same way as Moses or David might have lived, lead to the first draft of this story. He was able...

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Xlibris US
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Keith Ouzts (Author)

Keith Ouzts retired from the Marine Corps in June 2005 as a Gunnery Sergeant. His military service had taken him all over the world; from Africa to Japan to Europe, and finally to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in 2003. "Living in a...

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