I don't know what I was expecting when I started the book My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos, but it definitely wasn't what I ended up reading. Part fiction, part Christian Living, part Allegory, and even part Theology. The book is a story of one man's quest to find the real Jesus.
Matt has a picture of Jesus in his mind. At first, he seems legit. But he soon discovers that the Jesus of his imagination is not the real Jesus of the Bible. So Matt goes on a quest (along with other characters) to find the real Jesus. They come across many other fake Imaginary Jesuses (what's the plural of Jesus? Jesi?); ones that we can all relate to believing in at one time or another. Legalist Jesus, New Age Jesus, Eight Ball Jesus, Masculine Jesus and numerous others. But none of them are real. None of them are true.
This book was fascinating. It was hilarious (I laughed out loud on many occasions), and at the same time, it is heartwarming. It makes you think, makes you question what you believe about Jesus. I'll admit it...I even nearly teared up at one key moment of the book (I won't give too much away, as part of the joy of the book is not knowing what to expect). The past few months for me recently have been very difficult. I won't go into too much detail, but I have found myself questioning a lot of God's Plan, and God's sovereignty. While this book didn't take away all of my doubts, fears, and problems...it did help me to realize that perhaps I have been praying to, worshiping and being angry at a false God. A fake Jesus.
In many regards, while the writing style is very different, the content is similar to Pete Wilson's book Empty Promises. In that book, Wilson talks about different things that we worship in place of God, whether it be money, relationships, success or appearance. My Imaginary Jesus focuses instead on the actual idea of Jesus that we worship, and how, most of us worship a false picture of Jesus (or at least have at one time or another). Both books however talk about how, when we don't worship, idolize or serve the REAL God, we are incomplete, and can never be filled. Fake Jesus can't answer all of our questions, or make us whole, just like idolatry of Relationships and Appearance leaves us feeling empty.
I highly recommend this book. Perhaps the writing style may turn you off...perhaps you are searching for a deep, theological book. Maybe you are just expecting something completely different than what this book gives you. But I do believe that the underlying content of this book is important, and it is something we can all relate to. When you discover the REAL Jesus...he will change you. Give this book a try, and go into it with an open mind. Not only will it entertain you immensely, but it will more than likely teach you something too.