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When Jesus came to our offices a few weeks ago, guess what he did? You're right. He confounded the supposedly wise, and he played with children.

"Jesus," in this case, was Bruce Marchiano, the actor who portrayed Christ in Matthew, a video series based on a word-for-word presentation of the first Gospel. Leadership's sister publication Christian Reader had done a cover story on Bruce, so he stopped by.

For six weeks prior to filming, Bruce immersed himself in studying Matthew, memorized every word of Christ, and read books about Jesus. (The most influential was Jesus: Man of Joy by Sherwood Wirt). In the film, Bruce portrays a joyful Jesus, based on Hebrews 1:9 and 12:2, believing joy set Jesus apart from everyone else.

Bruce's exuberance was a hit with my three kids. After speaking to our staff, "Jesus" let my 11-, 9-, and 3-year-olds take him to their favorite part of Dad's office (the drainage area in the vacant lot behind our building), where they all picked cattails, broke them open, ...

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