One of Jesus of Nazareth's most famous invitations is "Follow me." McKaughan attempts to cut through centuries of intervening theories and explanations, and to come as close as possible to experiencing an encounter with Jesus, at least through the eyes of a disciple like Peter, or his companion John Mark. The Gospel writer treats his subject matter with practical realism: Jesus' invitation to join the kingdom of God, the human need to repent, the human craving to be healed, the way a claim Jesus makes sometimes jars the disciples, or the way they find themselves filled with fear in the midst of one of Jesus' acts of power. Jesus encourages his disciples to follow him long before their knowledge can match their action. They may wonder why Jesus is abrasive with various religious leaders.
But the realism that underlies everything else in the book is Jesus' compassion for human suffering, his readiness to heal, his forgiveness of sins, his desire to proclaim the love of God, and the way he puts that love into practice. The person of Jesus, the cluster of values that he embodies, presents a moral depth of character that can free us even today and challenge us to envision the persons we can yet become.