Greetings Homeschool friends! You will be blessed by this interview! I encourage you to read it, and get ready to worship Jesus, Our Risen and Compassionate Lord!
The Homeschool Channel is thrilled to interview actor, producer, writer, and Minister Bruce Marchiano of Marchiano Ministries!
Wow, Evonne, those titles kind of make me feel like I've accomplished something, haha! But I have to admit, as I sit here in my garage-converted-into-office with my dog tied to my chair lest he chase the neighbor kids who are playing in the street, it sure feels less than noteworthy, haha!!
Thank you for taking special time out your ministry schedule for a heart to heart talk with us at The Homeschool Channel.
It is a great honor - and I don't mean that glibly. My own kids were home-schooled early on, so I really understand and appreciate the value and the "community" of parents who want the best for their kids that homeschoolers represent, glory to Jesus!
People around the world, including myself, have been deeply touched by your portrayal of Jesus Christ in the groundbreaking movie, “The Gospel According To Matthew.”
Right out of the gate, I want to ask...How did it come to be that you chose to portray Jesus as someone of such great joy, in contrast to the more somber portrayal often presented of Christ?
It's a long story, but the short version is the Lord "led" us to this through His Word, both in study and specific Scripture - Hebrews 1:9, "He was anointed with the oil of JOY above his brethren," in other words, above anyone else! Then in John, Jesus prays, "My prayer, Father, is that my joy may be in them and their joy be complete." There are many Scriptures that clearly paint Jesus as a Man of Joy. At the same time, you look at who He was - literally the kingdom of God in a human envelope, as it were. That's joy unbounded! And you examine his "job," if I can phrase it in a non-religious way - raising the dead, opening blind eyes, bringing people to salvation... I tell you, this is no mundane lifestyle. Can you imagine the excitement of living like that - every day! At the same time, as deeply as Jesus experienced joy, that's how deeply he felt heartbreak and compassion. So I came to understand the joy of Jesus not simply a smile on the face, but a living of life in total fullness on every level, such urgency, such passion. No one ever laughed as fully as Jesus - and no one ever cried so deeply. Praise to Jesus!
I have heard you express how you experienced a deep intimacy with the Lord throughout the filming of “The Gospel According To Matthew.”
How can we as Christian Homeschool parents experience that intimacy as well?
Doing the film put me in a position where I HAD to get to know Him like never before. I was saved and really going for it as a Christian - but it wasn't until I had to portray Jesus in this film that I realized, even with all the church and "hallelujahs" I was doing, I had never taken the time to really "get to know Him" - who Jesus truly is, what's in His heart, who He was as a Man 2000 years ago, etc. So in preparation and all through filming, I just dove to the floor in prayer and dove into His Word with a real desperation to know Him and to be filled with who He was/is. I'm serious when I say that I was praying for HOURS every day, crying out to Him - for Him. And just buried in His Word. I was desperate because I had to represent Him properly! So I think of Jeremiah 29:13 - "When you seek me with ALL of your heart, I will be found." So I would say that Jesus is LONGING to be discovered in intimacy, and it's just a matter of us setting ourselves aside and taking the time - just like with any relationship. I mean, He GAVE HIS LIFE to know you and me - that's how desperate He is to share intimacy with us. And therein is the standard - true, real, lived-out desperation. So I'd say dive to your face in prayer with singular intent - "Reveal yourself to Me, Lord! Reveal your heart, your motivations, the depths of your love!!" And dive into His Word, for every page is a revelation of Jesus. He PROMISES to "be found."
Do you have any thoughts on how we can guide our children in such intimacy?
Well, I'm certainly no expert. But I think I can say it won't happen through "programs," if you know what I mean, as much as programs can help. We're talking about getting out of our comfort zones and getting to a place of crying out to Jesus - "getting dirty" for Jesus, if I can put it that way. We're talking about what's inside their young hearts - what they desire more than anything - that's the switch that needs to be flipped. And for ourselves, too! And that's probably the key to our kids craving intimacy with the Lord - seeing it in their parents! We, as parents, have to live desperate for God before them. They have to see us turning off the TV to pray. they have to see that Dad cares more about the Lord than he does about his golf or football teams. They have to see us talking about the Lord with greater excitement than those kinds of things. They have to see us crying tears in worship because we, ourselves, crave the Lord so much. I've learned from my own kids - mainly that they are watching us "like hawks." If they see us casual about the Lord, then they will follow suit. So, not being a child expert, but just a regular guy who's an expert on nothing, I'd say we model desperation for intimacy before our kids, and then we pray for it in them - as if their very lives depend on it. Again, it seems we come back to "desperation."
Many people have been deeply touched by such a loving portrayal of Jesus. I know this to be true in a very personal way! Being only a few days old in the Lord I saw the “Matthew” film. It was actually my first real exposure to the New Testament. Being a new Jewish Believer, it was wonderful to see an ethnic looking Jesus, showing such love to all He met...Just like the real Jesus! My testimony s just one of thousands. Bruce, do any particular testimonials stand out to you from your viewers worldwide?
I'm deeply thankful to read your words. It is somehow an "extra special" thing when someone of your background recognizes her Messiah, glory to Yeshua! To be honest, a testimony like yours ranks way at the top. It's so very humbling to hear such stories. And I've heard it from people of all backgrounds, Muslims, Hindus, athiests... all coming to the love of Jesus for them. And among the "Christians" - probably the most common testimony I've received is, "I've been a Christian for XX years, but I never really knew who Jesus truly was until now." Wow, that's breathtaking! I'll also tell you about the call I got one day from the international leader of what was then a cult (I won't name it out of privacy and respect for the folks). He saw "Matthew" and, along with other ways the Lord was working in his life, realized his teaching was in error. He called me and said he wanted everyone among their followers to see the film. He said, "My people need to be saved." We're talking about more than a million followers across America and the world. He used "Matthew" to introduce them all... to Jesus. There are so many stories - and each one is so very precious. And I'm deeply thankful.
Let's fast forward to today! We want the scoop! We have been hearing about a new “Jesus” Movie. How exciting! Will this be a word for word rendition of the Bible as well?
Can you cast the vision for that for us?
The vision is to make a major motion picture - I'm talking about the epic and technical scale of films such as "The Lord of the Rings" - of the Book of John, word-for-word. And we want to produce it as a non-profit ministry (as opposed to a for-profit film company), so that it will go out as a ministry, for outreach purposes and not commercial enterprise. People need the Lord, and how dare we restrict the Gospel by putting a price tag on it. I want to make this film available to all, regardless of financial means. I want to dub it into the languages of the world and get it in the hands of churches and missionaries all over the world to help them bring Jesus to the world. I want to see it in theaters in every nation - and on the tv's and hand-held devices of our kids. It's never been done before - a film funded as a ministry, through donations. And to be honest, a lot of people think I'm crazy for even trying it (haha!). But in Exodus 35, the Lord instructed Moses to go to the people for the building of the Tabernacle. So many people responded that it wasn't a burden to anyone and they had more than enough. This is the model I feel the Lord would have us follow - a major Jesus film, produced by the Body of Christ, for the Body of Christ, to bring Jesus to a lost and dying world. Glory to Jesus! You can read all about it (and support if you'd like!) at www.NewJesusMovie.com. Glory to Jesus!
The Homeschool Channel is primarily a group of Believing Homeschool Families seeking to serve the Lord. How can word for word renditions of the Bible be something that is useful to Homeschool families to pursue that mission?
The most powerful "force," if you will, in our world is The Word of God. It alone is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword." The Gospel alone is "The power of God unto salvation." All to say, we can't get enough of God's Word, and we can't do a better service for our kids than fill their lives with The Word of God. A good story on film is great and even worthy. But it's God's Word that changes lives - our lives and the lives of those around us - those we love - our kids. So, getting back to your question about the new Jesus film I'm trying to make, I always say, "Making movies is SO much work and SO difficult, if I'm going to pour myself out like that, I'm going to make sure it's a film that will change lives and not just entertain - and that means God's Word!" Glory to Jesus!
Your new Movie “Encounter” seems to take your portrayal of Jesus to a whole different and modern level. How did they come about?Can you tell us a little about this exciting film?
I received an email from the producer, David White, who does many Christian films, asking me if I'd like to play Jesus in a contemporary setting. I asked him to send me the script to review before I answered - I'm very careful about any presentation of Jesus - He must be represented accurately. The script made Jesus seem very stern and even flippant, so I almost turned it down. But a friend told me to at least share my heart with the director, so I called and we met and I told him that Jesus needed to be presented as loving - that he NEVER not loves anyone, and that must come across clearly. And if i do the film I have to bring that reality to the screen. I remember he was a bit surprised - as if Jesus actually, actively loving people was something new, haha! But he agreed to give me that leeway, and so we went for it. During filming I remember the crew being equally surprised to see Jesus actually loving the other characters in the film. I remember the mother of one teenage actress telling me that her daughter asked her on the way home, "Does Jesus really love me like that?" So it really became a matter of "bringing to life" the heart of Jesus - and that means love beyond our comprehension. And I'm just very thankful that many lives are being changed through the film - which is basically Jesus answering people's hard life-questions and confusions with His Word - with His love. Glory to the name of Jesus!
God has specifically laid South Africa upon your heart. How did you first get a burden for these people?
When Matthew" was first released, I was invited to South Africa to share Jesus for a 5 week speaking tour. That 5 weeks turned into 6 months, as I averaged 2 meetings/services a day, speaking in every imaginable venue. It was downright glorious and beyond exciting - hundreds of thousands of people came to Jesus, and the adventure of Africa... It was an amazing time, and I'm very honored to say that the South African people, white and black and all between, blessed me with such favor across the board. And the invites kept coming. So it was really a matter of SA opening a gaping door of welcome to me. And to this day, it is one of my greatest loves, these precious people and serving them in the name of Jesus. Presently, I go 3 times a year, conduct crusades and reach out to AIDS orphans and schools and and... just all-around have a ball, serving these precious SA people. "Jeso ke Morena" (Jesus is Lord)!
Lastly Bruce, how can our readers at The Homeschool Channel enjoy these resources and become a part of what God is doing with this Worldwide Ministry?
Thank you so much, Evonne. Probably like all your guests (haha!), your readers can go to www.BruceMarchiano.com. It will be a pleasure to hear from your readers and I'll be happy to serve them. And don't forget www.NewJesusMovie.com - it will take all of us who love Jesus joining together - and it will be glorious! Thanks so much! GLORY TO THE NAME OF (let's say it all together!) JESUUUUUS!!!
Thank you for your service to the Body of Christ.
Homeschool Channel Correspondent
Homeschool friends, I was so personally blessed by this! Has this encouraged you to walk closer with Jesus,
our Lord? Do you already have such an intimate walk? Can you share about that? Do your kids know Jesus like that? If you feel so led, let me know in a comment! Shalom, Evonne
Evonne Mandella is a Jewish Believer in Jesus! She homeschools her children and with a heart for her heritage and a look to the sky, for the soon return of her Lord. She can be reached between dance steps at email@example.com or atwww.wholesomlearningtravel.com