I just finished reading the new book by Frank Viola, “God’s Favorite Place On Earth”. I’ve always enjoyed Viola’s writing but this book is very different from any of his others that I’ve read. It is a tremendous study about Jesus in Bethany. Instead of just being a book that does a study on Jesus’ different meetings with people in Bethany, it is a story told from the mouth of Lazarus. Viola does a tremendous job imagining things that might have been said or felt in the whole situations. He walks through the different times Jesus visited Bethany and the acceptance he received there like no other place he went. Some of the lessons he pulls out of the different stories will cause anyone to step back and think about how they handle challenges in life. It isn’t at all the typical study of Mary and Martha and the difference in their personalities. If one only got the lessons tied to Mary and how she dealt the the criticism from Martha when she was sitting at Jesus feet and the time when Judas along with some of the other disciples attacked her verbally after she had anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume. She paid a high price to anoint him for his burial. Then Judas challenged her with “Why this waste? Why didn’t you sell it for a year’s wages and give the money to the poor?” He makes some tremendous points about how she dealt with the criticism.
I highly recommend this book for anyone. It will inspire you and it isn’t a long read at all.