The first reason I wanted to write and illustrate this story is that I am a follower of Jesus.
John Hendrix in the Author’s Note of Miracle Man
Anytime a book has a Christian subject matter, I am always interested to see if the author is a Christian. I feel it gives the book are better base. So I was beyond happy to read the above statement when I finished this delightful picture book about Jesus.
After scanning the book for the first time, my impression was wow; Hendrix calls Jesus a Man. This is unique. Normally in picture books about Jesus the authors speak of Him being God. Of course, He is both. Hendrix does mention both, but points out Jesus’ humanity more. Although it can get a little tiresome reading the phrase “Miracle Man,” I like it. It reminds the audience that God was a Man on earth. As a Man, Jesus did these miracles. Of course, Hendrix could only pick only a few miracles to illustrate the life and power of Jesus. He chose the feeding of the 5,000, walking on water, healing the leper, and stilling the stormy waters to name a few.
The other unique thing in this book is that Hendrix depicts Jesus with bandages around both of His wrists. I instantly loved this curious detail because on earth Jesus was held down because of His humanity. It wasn’t until His death and His resurrection that the bondage of the sin nature, old man, fallen flesh, etc. were thrown off. So Hendrix shows Jesus with no bandages around his wrists after His crucifixion and resurrection.
The only dour part of Miracle Man is that Jesus is in fact illustrated. Shocking, I know, as this is a picture book about Jesus. Without getting too specific in my personal beliefs, Exodus 20:4-6 talks specifically about not making images to be worshipped, i.e. of our God. While one can interpret this however one likes, for me I take it literally. And, quite frankly, we do not know what Jesus looked like. Hendrix spoke about how difficult it was to illustrate Him. We know He had no attractiveness to Him (Isaiah 53:2). Hendrix did do a good job making Jesus more ethnically correct and homely. But since Jesus is shown I unfortunately cannot share this picture book with my son.
However, I do recommend Miracle Man for those who do not mind using books with Jesus illustrated. You could spend a long time pouring over the illustrations and talking about Jesus’ life. I love how Hendrix uses the background and objects into words. And I like being reminded to not look at myself, but at Him.