Book Reviews

Book Review: The One O’Clock Miracle (Alison Mitchell)

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The One O’Clock Miracle: A True Story About Trusting the Words of Jesus

Main Story and Illustrations

I recently reviewed Alison Mitchell’s The Storm That Stopped, which imagines Mark 4 in a very cute way for kids (and parents). Before she wrote that book she wrote The One O’Clock Miracle, based on John 4:46-54, also illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. Since you could read John 4:46-54 yourself, I don’t need to elaborate on this one very much. The official’s son is extremely ill, and the official doesn’t know what to do. But he hears about a man named Jesus who performed many miracles and healed many people, with Jesus’ miracles being placed in word bubbles. Even children who can’t read can see what Jesus has done.

This man is sure that if Jesus can heal these other people, he can heal his son too. But there’s a problem, the father lives in Capernaum, twenty miles north of Cana where Jesus is. It’s a long walk “and uphill all the way!” For some reason, the man packs what looks like his whole house into his backpack (as you can see on the front cover). I suppose this is meant to be humorous for kids, especially since this dad is going to be doing a lot of walking (and sometimes running) to see Jesus. In fact, this does take up a bit of the book. Just running up the hills… and down the hills.

The dad arrives in Cana with everyone going about their business. Yet he easily finds Jesus and implores him to come with him to heal his son. Yet Jesus simply says, “Go.” “Go, your son will live.” The illustrations show that this is a big deal.

Jesus, don’t you know how many pages this man has been running uphill for? Yet the man believes and obeys, and he runs home. Going downhill is a lot easier than uphill, and, something I didn’t even notice until now (though my wife saw it immediately), the man’s travel gets easier because his bag got smaller. Unless he ate a lot of his food when he arrived at Cana, I think this is meant to represent that his anxious burden has been lifted. He does trust Jesus! And though he still carries around his backpack, it is much smaller than before.

When the man arrives home, his servants tell him his son became well at one o’clock in the afternoon the day before, exactly when Jesus said his son would be well. This man had never met Jesus and would probably not meet him again before his crucifixion, but Jesus healed his son. And the whole household believed in Jesus. Jesus brings new life that affects our physical lives.

This was one of the earlier books in the series. While the series has progressed in its stories and illustrations, this is still a fun one to have and to use to show Jesus to your children. You can read this book to them and ask them what it must have been like for each member of the family to see this happen. You can use it to talk about the ways Jesus has provided in your own lives as well.

Highly recommended. 

Find it on Amazon and the Good Book Company!

Disclosure: I received this book free from The Good Book Company. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

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