The Messiah’s Servant
William I. Brazley, Jr.
Enhanced DNA Publishing (2021)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (9/2021)
It is over two thousand years since the Son of Man has walked the earth, and there is so much more we want to know about him and his ways. Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, there has been no shortage of violence and evil in the world. Nowadays, it is almost commonplace to turn on a screen and see a news article or report of war, murder, assault, affair, or anything falling in the sinful nature category. The idea of God is so strong that it has caused a divide between humans who wonder, “Why is this happening, God? I’m confused, but I trust You,” and those who wonder, “Why is this happening, God? You must not be real, or else you wouldn’t allow this to happen” – both sides feel justified in their thinking, and both believe that they know the truth.
“The Messiah’s Servant” plays to this issue through God’s servant Simeon of Cyrene. The story begins on the night of Jesus’s crucifixion – Good Friday. Jesus is bloody and exhausted from his whipping, torture, and ridicule by his chosen people. Simeon of Cyrene is around for the Passover and wonders about the excitement. Being a genuinely caring person, Simeon can’t help but to assist Jesus when the cross becomes too heavy for him; what comes from this one decision changes his life forever. Simeon is given instructions from Jesus to do the work of the Lord, which is easier said than done. Simeon leaves his family and everything familiar and goes out into the world for centuries; he experiences every way that Satan has infiltrated our lives to behave and think opposite from our original design; the holocaust, slavery, and death and wonders, “Why?!” What Simeon learns while under the direction and guidance of Jesus is something that we all should remember daily – He knows best.
The Bible verse Romans 8:28 was my child’s memory verse recently; I found this fitting because it ties into everything that the story is about – “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Simeon experienced some of the worst times in history; I can imagine how it would feel justified for someone to question if God had left them or was ever around in the first place. Brazley did an excellent job of “playing God” and having Jesus’s answers to Simeon’s questions based on scripture, which is all we have at the moment to answer our questions. The way that Brazley wrote the interaction between Jesus and Simeon, as well as interactions between anyone in the story, is genuine and relatable. I had a mix of emotions while reading this book; some of the situations felt real and having to imagine leaving your family forever was tough to process for me. I like how Brazley extended and added to the story of Simeon, albeit it seems a little far-fetched at first, but I’ve been told anything is possible with God.