To write a book about Jesus is a challenging task; to live a life like Jesus' is more challenging still. Though not primarily a work of theology or of spirituality, this popular history intends to help the words and deeds of Jesus come alive for contemporary readers. In Jesus' day, he was a polarizing figure; one was either for him or against him. Today, even many who are familiar with the story of Jesus are unmoved. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of them is that we have forgotten the history of which Jesus came to be part; and we have also forgotten how we fit in. When God acted in Jesus, he acted in history, and that history came with particular cultures, presuppositions, and memories of its own. Without an understanding of these things, Jesus' polarizing words and deeds become blunted because their backdrop has been removed.