His name is Jesus … I Am who I Am … Richard Hook Face of Jesus

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~ Luke 2: 11-14

Jesus (also called Christ which means king or Messiah) was born in Israel 2000+ years ago. Modern civilization marks his birth by dividing time B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini – or the “year of our Lord”). For his first thirty years, Jesus lived a traditional Jewish life, working as a carpenter. During this time, all of Israel was under Caesar’s Roman dictatorship, including Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, and Nazareth, where he was raised.

In his thirties, Jesus began his public teaching and display of recorded miracles, yet still never traveled more than 200 miles from his birthplace. Over a three year period, despite his efforts to keep a low profile, Jesus’ reputation spread nation wide. The Roman governors and rulers of Israel’s provinces and the leaders of the Jewish people (the religious counsels) took note of him. Jesus’ key messages included:

• Love one another

• God forgives those who ask

• God loves you and is with you

• Immense value of each person

• Reality of judgment to heaven or hell

• Good news: kingdom of God has come to earth


Down through the ages, many have asked “Who is Jesus Christ?”

His name is Jesus … I Am who I Am … Richard Hook Dynamic Shepherd

His most controversial act was that he repeatedly claimed to be God, which was a direct violation of the Jewish law. Therefore the religious leaders asked the Roman government to execute him. In each of several official trials, the Romans found that he was not guilty of breaking any Roman law. Even the Jewish leaders recognized that other than his claim to be God, Jesus followed the Jewish law perfectly.

Still the religious leaders, using the argument of political disfavor, persuaded Pilate, a Roman governor of the Southern province of Israel, to authorize an execution.

Jesus was brutally tortured and then hung by his hands, which were nailed to a horizontal wooden beam (cross). This method of execution restricted the airflow to his lungs, killing him in three hours. However, according to more than 500 witnesses, Jesus returned from the dead three days later, and over the next 40 days journeyed in both the southern and northern provinces of Israel. To many, this was conclusive proof that Jesus’ claims to be God were real. Then Jesus returned to Jerusalem, the city where he was recently executed, and according to many witnesses, he left the earth alive by arising up into the sky.

As a result of these miraculous events, the number of his followers increased dramatically. Only a few months later in that same city of Jerusalem one record states that some 3000 new followers were added in a single day. The religious leaders responded by trying to stomp out Jesus’ followers. Many of those people chose to die rather than deny their belief that Jesus was truly God.

His name is Jesus … I Am who I Am … Frances Hook Children love Jesus

Within 100-plus years, people throughout the Roman empire (Asia Minor, Europe, Britain) had become followers of Jesus. In 325 AD, following Christ through acts of obeisance, “Christianity” became the official religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Within 500 years, even the temples of Greek gods were transformed into churches for followers of Jesus. Although his messages and teachings were often miscommunicated through the expansion of religious institutions, His original words and life still speak loudly for themselves.


To recap and to lay in place the reality of whom you are privileged to be with in this day and age of humanity’s attempt to self-destruct, just think about what you just learned from the emissary of God himself…

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was thirty, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city and never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place He was born. Nor did He ever do any of the things that usually accompany greatness.

The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed on a cross between two thieves.

While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He owned on earth – His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and placed in a borrowed grave.

His name is Jesus … I Am who I Am … Frances Hook Smiling Christ

Twenty centuries have come and gone, yet today He is the crowning glory of the human race, the adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth’s inhabitants. All the Armies that ever marched, and all the Navies ever assembled, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the rulers that ever reigned – combined – have not affected the life of man upon this earth so profoundly as that One Solitary Life.

Jesus (Yeshua) Christ (Ha-Mashiach) – LORD of Lords, KING of Kings, Savior of the World! Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen. Maranatha!

His name is Jesus … I Am who I Am!


On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For more than just a day, Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man. The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and their souls. ~ President Ronald Wilson Reagan, Christmas Message, 1981



During my getting to be long life I have had the distinct pleasure of both working with, and associating with, some of the most incredibly talented people from all walks of life. One of them was the artist Frances Hook with whom I developed some wonderful collectors items during the late 70’s/early 80’s and beyond.

The quite remarkable “Face of Jesus” was actually painted by her husband Richard Hook and is arguably the finest such rendition on the face of the planet (in my humble opinion, of course!)

Although both have long since gone on to be with the Lord, you can see a little more of their work at: Frances and Richard Hook Sacred Heart Pilgrim Collection

May this Christmas season of 2020, a tumultuous if not downright life-threatening year of Biblically-demonic struggle and strife, be a cushion to your soul; a strength to your spirit; bring peace to your mind; and a willingness to engage those forces of evil intent, who would attempt to pull you away from the Savior’s protection.

His name is Jesus … I Am who I Am!

For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain. ~ Galatians 2: 19-21


Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!