Story Review: Forever Changed - A Historical Fiction About Zacchaeus
By Mac McConnell - Forever Changed: A Journey in Jericho.
This particular book is about every child’s favorite Bible story character—Zacchaeus.
We see how a young Zacchaeus winds up becoming a tax collector and how he quickly learns to be one of the best. It ain’t too hard to make some extra money for his own pockets, either. One month he goes to Jericho to collect the taxes that are due only to find that the blind man can’t pay, the one lady just had her young son die, and the other lady’s husband is a raving lunatic who is completely out of his mind. He grants thirty days grace on the taxes.
Upon his return he discovers that the blind man can now see, the raving lunatic actually is in his right mind and is able to hold down a regular job, and the little boy that was dead is now alive. What is more, everyone is more than willing to pay all that is due Zacchaeus! Everyone keeps telling him about this Yeshua guy which piques the curiosity of the little man.
Zacchaeus hears that he is coming so he climbs up a tree just to catch a look at this man only to find that Yeshua is looking for him. You know the rest of the story.
First, it must be noted that this is a work of historical fiction and that there is much artistic license used by Mac. This is alright since he does not violate what we do know from the Scriptures. If I struggled with anything it was that all those who were healed in this book (and in the Bible) were placed along one street. For some reason, I struggled with that. As I tried to figure out why, I realized that it was my own preconceived notions and geographic mapping in my head. It had nothing to do with the story and it most certainly was not a violation of Scripture.
Forever Changed adds depth and character to a story with which so many are already familiar. I greatly enjoyed the story and could actually “see” the Zacchaeus of the Bible really come to life. I enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading it with my boys in the evenings.
This little book stands alone as a book by itself. It does not have a companion as does Bozra, Hadad, or Joseph which comprise the Cradle to the Cross Trilogy. Forever Changed is an excellent family read aloud or just a fun read for children and parents. Read it and see for yourself.
Terry Delaney (@ChristBookNotes) has reviewed over 1,000+ books for Christian Book Notes from an Evangelical perspective. He is also a professional reviewer for AudioFile Magazine. Terry is an ordained minister and will be graduating from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2019.