I’ve been wanting to read, In the footsteps of Jesus by Bruce Marchiano (Harvest House, 1997) for quite a while and just recently I bought a copy.
Bruce Marchiano was the actor who played Jesus in “The Gospel according to Matthew” which is a word for word account of the book of Matthew. This book is the story of that experience. It was a daunting experience – trying to capture what Jesus was really like on film and knowing that your version of ‘Jesus’ could influence people’s perception of Him. Consequently it caused Bruce to pray like He had never prayed before. He learnt so much about Jesus during the three months of filming and the seven weeks of preparation that it was a life-changing experience. He tells the story in a moving and impacting way. He makes Jesus personal.
In the book Bruce answers a number of questions that he found he was often asked including: How did you get the role? What does it feel like to play Jesus? Why another Jesus movie? What makes Matthew different? What’s the most significant thing you learned through the whole adventure?
The thought that stands out to me the most was how Bruce decided to play Matthew 23 where Jesus calls the Pharisees, hypocrites, brood of vipers, white washed tombs etc. As he was praying about this scene and also an earlier one in Matthew 11 he felt that Jesus’ anger was born of love – anger born of a broken heart. Jesus loved the Pharisees but their behaviour broke His heart.
I was wondering what Bruce was doing now since the film was made in 1993 and this book published in 1997. I discovered that he has a web site and that he is working on producing “The Gospel according to John” and there is even a blog!