I love when I find a book that really moves me to the core, that stays with me. I love a book that I cannot put down. I love learning more about the times and people that lived in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Ted Dekker’s book, A.D.30 was all that and more.
On a road trip with my parents this past weekend, I took along this book and found I could not put it down. When it got dark in the car on our way home, I pulled out a flashlight from my purse, in spite of feeling ill with a bout of bronchitis. It was that good. It helped me see another picture of our glorious Savior and His ways and dealings with people just like you and me, only that they lived in a different time and place.
Published in 2014 by Center Street of Hachette Book Group, A.D. 30 is followed with a sequel, A.D. 33, which only came out at the beginning of October. I will definitely be reading it soon!
Maviah, a rejected daughter of a Bedu king, is the main character and suffers a tremendous loss. Because of this, she is sent on a mission to avenge her loss and restore the honor of her father (who has been defeated and rendered speechless) by the Thamud with a sword of Varus. She goes on a long and dangerous journey to see Herod, the Jewish king in the time of Jesus. Two slaves of her father Rami are appointed to go with her: Saba and Judah. Together they cross a valley of death, the Nafud desert. Sandstorms and the loss of camels are only the beginning of their problems.
Fear and hatred imprison Maviah and it seems she is destined to never live up to what she really is: a daughter of a Bedu king and royalty. But that changes when she meets the Man everyone is talking about in the land of Judea: a so called mystic named Yeshua. The very minute she lays her eyes upon Him, Maviah is drawn to the Savior of the world.
There are many twists and turns in the plot and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how the author instilled both deep meaning and a desire to read to the very end. Some of the book’s quotes about how Maviah’s thinking changed completely were amazing.
As the characters discuss the increasing threats to Yeshua, one of them says:
” ‘Yeshua finds no threat in this rumor!’ he proclaimed…’You will see, he holds no grievance. So then, we too must hold none. Rome only does what Rome knows. Herod only does what Herod knows. But we must offer them no judgment. All grievance comes from fear of harm. To release grievance is to believe in God and the one he has sent. Do only this to be saved. This is the way, you will see.’ ”
page 318, AD 30
I marked that page with a piece of Kleenex. What wisdom! The world cannot do other than what it does. How many years has it taken me to realize that the ways of God are totally foreign to the ways of this world? When we are not afraid, we are living in His perfect love. (I John 4:18)
Mr. Dekker painted with words a beautiful picture of our Savior, and that for us to know Him is to no longer be afraid. A quotation from Jesus’s teachings in the Bible begins each chapter of this book. In the end, an appendix provides references for the Bible verses that are used.
Mixed in with the fiction, the events matched what was recorded by ancient historians, for example, the divorce of Herod from his first wife, Phasa, the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and the calming of the storm on the sea.
Ted Dekker is known for writing Christian thrillers, but this is the first time I have ever read one of his books. In his prologue, Mr. Dekker, the son of missionaries, told how writing this story opened up for him a whole new way of thinking and living before His Savior. At the end of the prologue, he states:
“So enter the story if you like and see if you can see what Maviah saw. It may change the way you understand your Father, your Master, yourself, and your world.”
page X of Prologue
For me, the story of Maviah did just that. Thank you, Ted Dekker.