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The Last Man at the Inn  By  cover art

The Last Man at the Inn

By: R. William Bennett
Narrated by: Dennis Kleinman
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Publisher's summary

Best-selling author R. William Bennett imagines how a contemporary of Jesus, Simon, an ordinary spice merchant and a Jew without deeply felt religious beliefs, begins his lifelong journey as one of the first new Christians as his life intersects with Jesus at the major milestones of his life and ministry.

From the very beginning, Simon is on the scene on the eve of Jesus’s birth. He is the last man to get an available room at the inn in Bethlehem, forcing Joseph and Mary to be turned away upon their arrival. Later that night, unable to sleep, Simon stumbles upon a group huddled around a cave, solemnly watching the miracle of a newborn babe in a stone manger and immediately recognizes the couple from the inn. Gazing upon the scene, he feels something of spiritual significance: peaceful, holy, sacred. The next day, he hears rumors in the marketplace of a holy birth which is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy: the promised Messiah of the Jewish people. Simon wonders if that was what he witnessed.

As listeners, we walk with Simon as he witnesses Jesus’s revolutionary teachings like the Sermon on the Mount. Simon also hears testimonies of Jesus’s miracles, and watches his own eldest son embrace the new covenant after witnessing John baptize Jesus, an act which signals the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, which paves the way for a new people of God.

Simon feels blessed to have his family, but he doesn’t understand why others are searching for deeper faith and connection to God. Still questioning and unsure, he spends his life determined to find out if Jesus truly is the son of God, the promised Messiah. Eventually, Simon travels to Jerusalem as the popularity of Jesus’s ministry catches the attention of those in power.

By the time he arrives in Jerusalem, he discovers that Jesus has been tried and convicted of treason in a Roman court and is sentenced to death by crucifixion. After a life of following Jesus from a distance, Simon is now walking the streets of Jerusalem with him. At a critical moment, Simon steps out from the crowd to help Jesus ease the burden of carrying the cross, symbolically pledging himself to ease the burden of humankind by spreading the word of Jesus as a new true Christian believer.

In the aftermath of Jesus’s death, Simon’s family thinks that the new ministry is now over. But it’s a true test of faith believing in the certainty of what is unseen, and in a week’s time, Jesus’s followers encounter him risen from the dead. In this moment of Jesus’s resurrection, Simon is ready. His faith, built steadily on the bedrock of Jesus’s teachings, love of God, and love of one’s neighbor moves him to dedicate himself to a new mission, declaring we have work to do.

©2019 Burgess Adams, Inc. (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Last Man at the Inn

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Well done Story

This story was worth a listen. I much preferred this author's Jacob T. Marley.

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Great story to prepare your heart for Christmas or Easter

The story was very realistic to help one imagine what life would be like during the life and times of Jesus in the hearts of people like you and me. I loved it. Very inspirational.

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Loved Everything about this story

Great story, great narration. What a pleasant surprise. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommend this audio book.

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So much insight into human nature.

So much insight into human nature. I love that it developed naturally, not pushing boundaries of life unfolding. There was nothing in it that I couldn't wrap my head, arms and heart around. The distinction of characters were intricate and full. I could Invision the scenes in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and adjacent areas as if I were there with the sights, sounds and feelings these people experienced. Heartbreaking at times, knowing what was coming and yet beautiful to the end as the father takes his place as patriarch not only physically but spiritually.

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A Growing Faith

A fictional, yet moving account of a man who was changed over the lifetime of Christ, from the birth of the Baby Jesus up until His death and resurrection . . . a reluctant Jewish man, a successful businessman of his time, a spice trader, much loved and respected by his family, who when faced with a decision to follow or reject the teachings of Jesus was conflicted and confused . . . much as men and women are today. The author is a masterful storyteller and if you are like me, you will find yourself identifying with Simon of Cyrene over and over again throughout this book. An excellent holiday listen.

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An Absolutely Wonderful Encounter

AWESOME!!!! YES!!!! I'll be listening to this for many years to come. Actually on my 2nd listening while writing this review. Thank you for taking what little we know of Simon of Cyrene and giving him a full story that shows the impact of encounters and near encounters with J'SUAH.

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Beautiful!

A well crafted story. Quite moving and relational. I enjoyed listening to the book.

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