"The 13th Apostle" tells the story of the other disciple - the one who joined the 12 disciples after Jesus' crucifixion. The 13th apostle's name was Gamaliel, which means "reward of God."
Gamaliel was a young man of modest means. He had no dwelling to call home, no furnishings. He had become orphaned twice, and now lived on the streets. In spite his material situation, Gamaliel reminded rich in spirit. This Character's positive outlook contributed to "The 13th Apostle" being a joy to read.
"The 13th Apostle" holds lessons for readers or any age. It reads almost like a daily journal of a young man, who has heard Jesus' teachings, understands them and helps others apply Jesus' teachings to their lives.
Through Gamaliel we see reactions to Jesus through different people - another street urchin, a girl from a family of influence, a Roman centurion and religious leaders. Through these and others we experience the arrival of a king, his condemnation, his public betrayal, his murder and resurrection.
MOURNING A FRIEND
Many grieved Jesus' death whether they had met him or not. Gamaliel, too, sensed the loss of Jesus after His crucifixion. But since Gamaliel believed in Jesus' promised resurrection, the young apostle remained full of hope while others became sad.
LOVE, BE LOVED, FIND LOVE
"The 13th Apostle" has an underlying theme: Love your neighbor. In this case "neighbor" was a childless couple who took in the two street beggars. How many of us would take in people off the street and love them as our own? This couple reached out to give, expecting nothing in return, but whose lives became richly blessed due to their generosity. The husband and wife not only gained two sons. They came to know Jesus.
I haven't told you yet that Paul Murphy's book is of course a novel.
There is a "Gamaliel" in the Bible. The Gamaliel in the Book of Acts dissuaded the Pharisees from killing the disciples. It is however, possible and even likely that there was someone like the Gamaliel depicted in "The 13th Apostle," who lived during the days of Jesus, believed in Jesus, unknowingly met him to later join with the disciples in spreading God's Word.
Yes, I believe there was definitely someone like Gamaliel - maybe someone like you or me - committed to telling the most important story: That God had but one Son, whom He sent to walk the earth with us, to set an example, to suffer and die an awful death, that we might have everlasting life, a life with Jesus who reigns now with His Father, for Jesus rose three days after his day of crucifixion, appeared to many, delivered the message of The Holy Spirit and then ascended to Heaven. "The 13th Apostle" is a novel, but the basis of the story is true.
You can buy "The 13th Apostle" at www.paulmurphybooks.com or book retailers, or borrow it from a library. The author's Web site also states he is working on a sequel to "The 13th Apostle".
Deborah Tompkins Johnson