Quite possibly the most important movie to ever be created, Jesus (also known as the Jesus Film) has touched countless lives through its simple, true, and powerful story. Originally released in 1979, the Jesus Film recounts the life of Jesus Christ, from his humble birth in a stable in Bethlehem all the way to his eventual death on a cross. No man has made a bigger influence on this world than Jesus Himself, and this film attempts to give a brief glimpse of what Jesus’ life was truly like. Based on the Gospel of Luke and written by Barnet Bain, this movie has a simple and admirable goal: to make the Bible and the story of Jesus Christ simple, understandable, and accessible.
Since its release in 1979, the Jesus film has been translated into more than 1200 different languages and has been shown to groups of people from all across the globe. The movie was made to be simple and easy to translate, so it could be easily adapted to work in any culture, time, or place. The Jesus Film has easily become one of the most influential movies of all time, Christian or otherwise, thanks to its many translations and its powerful story.
One thing that was very clear in the production of The Jesus Film was the commitment and dedication of everyone involved. For example, instead of trying to embellish the story of Jesus, or adding fictitious elements to further flesh out the story, the writers decided from the start to adhere to the book of Luke as close as possible. So, the film very closely aligns with scripture, thanks to it being almost exclusively based on the book of Luke. Also, Brian Deacon, the actor who played Jesus, was so excited and devoted to this project that he regularly read through several different Biblical translations to make sure he was properly playing the role of Jesus to the best of His ability.
In 1981, one of the main funders for the Jesus Film, Bill Bright, set up the Jesus Film Project organization. This group would be dedicated to translating the movie into many different languages and distributing them all across the globe. For many people, The Jesus Film would be the very first motion picture they ever watched. Today, they are still continuing to spread the good news of the gospel of Christ to the masses.
The Jesus film begins by showing the Virgin Mary, who would become the mother of Jesus. In that time Caesar Augustus decreed that a census should be taken and that every resident would need to be accounted for. They had to journey to their hometown to comply with the census. During this time, Joseph took his wife, Mary, to Bethlehem, to fulfill the order of the census. While staying in a stable there, Mary gave birth to her son Jesus, and from that moment she knew that her life would never be the same again.
It quickly became apparent that Jesus was no ordinary boy. He didn’t think like the other boys, He didn’t act like them. He had far greater intentions and bigger plans for His life. As He grew older, He began His teaching ministry, calling out to certain men and making them His disciples. Jesus chose 12 men to be His disciples, including Peter, James and John. For the next 3 years, Jesus would grow His ministry, preaching to thousands. While He would receive many followers and supporters, He also found His fair share of detractors and naysayers.
As time went on, Jesus began to preach about things that did not align with what was found in the teachings of the law. Because of this, tension arose between Jesus and the Pharisees and the Sadducees. What Jesus was teaching seemed to them to be heresy, even blasphemy. The truth is, what Jesus said would have been blasphemy – had it not all been true.
Tensions began to build and tempers flared as Jesus’ ministry began to gain a lot of traction and attention. Eventually, it became evident that this could no longer keep up forever. Finally, Jesus’ crowd turned on Him and demanded that He be crucified. After all the miracles Jesus had performed and the incredible displays of God’s power He had exhibited, the people had spoken and they wanted Him dead.
So, only three years after His ministry began, Jesus was arrested and brought before both King Herod and Pontius Pilate. After much debate and struggle, the crowd won out and it was decided that Jesus would be crucified. So the next day, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. He was a sinless man that had chosen to pay the ultimate price of death so that the world may find freedom and forgiveness from God. This was not a sacrifice He had to make; it was one He chose to make, so that everyone could be forgiven for their sins.
Three days later, after much mourning and sadness, light shone once more. As two women went to visit Jesus’ tomb, they found it open – and empty! Later, Jesus appeared to them, explaining that He had conquered the grave. Death could not hold Him, He had risen from the dead. For the next forty days, Jesus would appear to many different people, proving His existence, and more importantly His victory over the grave. After appearing for a short time, Jesus ascended into Heaven, leaving behind a short and simple message – “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”
Jesus’ final command to the world was to go and make disciples of Him. It’s wonderful to see that through the Jesus Film, people are using His very story to make more disciples. The story of Jesus is so incredible, so awe-inspiring, that this film adaptation has helped people around the world to make the decision to become a follower of Christ. The Jesus Film has proven that it can stand the test of time and that it will continue to be a powerful influence for many years.
The Jesus Film has been rated G by the MPAA and contains language tracks for English, Arabic, French, Korean, and Portuguese. The running time for this movie is approximately 120 minutes. This incredible movie has long been hailed as a classic and an excellent tool to help bring people to an understanding of faith and Jesus’ sacrifice. It is sure to be an incredible tool for you to use for years to come.