One actor who has left no doubt about the strength of his belief is Dean Jones who, now 83, no longer performs. And you'll probably remember him best for his leading role in Walt Disney's The Love Bug. But he also performed as a one person cast in a traveling play entitled St. John in Exile, a wonderful performance in which he plays the part of the Apostle John during his years in exile on the Isle of Potmas. The play was filmed for general distribution in 1987,
With few props and just himself dressed in prison garb (John was, after all, residing in a cave at the island prison colony), Jones gives one of he tbest performances I have ever seen. He tells the story of John and his relationship with Jesus so vividly, crisply and simply that it left me truly amazed. This is a performance that every Christian should see for it makes you want to study your Bible more earnestly and it gives such wonderful testimony to our Lord's grace.
After detailing John's life as a follower of Christ, Jones' description of the Crucifixion and its aftermath is told so wonderfully that you think you are right there with Him. And then, when the Easter story is completed, this fine actor goes into some of the bravery that the earlier followers of Jesus went through because of their love for Him. He details the gruesome ways of death of so many, yet it provides us hope due to the courage that these great early Christians displayed because of their love for Jesus. Watch this performance and you'll quickly surmise that Jones really isn't acting; he is following his heart which is filled with the Holy Spirit during this performance. I don't think you can come away from this performance without gaining more determination to live your life for Christ as well.
Researching the biography of Dean Jones after watching this masterpiece, I found that he was born into a Christian family and was raised in the tradition, served in the Korean War, and then later, after an accident, he began to lose his way. Over time, however, he came to realize that there really was not life for him outside of Christ and he came back to the fold. I tell you this because it is so true that if we raise our young with the Lord, even though they have moments of doubt in later life and may falter, their true heritage will come back to them if they were well grounded in it while young.
I hope if you haven't seen this wonderful play you will take the time to watch it. It is available from Netflix and is well worth the two hours of your time. I even plan to use it as a supplement to my Sunday school lessons over a multi-week period. It tells John's story so much more vividly than I could ever hope to tell. It truly is a work of art and Dean Jones is to be thanked for using the Holy Spirit so effectively to impact the lives of others.
The Lord works in many ways that we don't expect and today the growing focus on Christian movies and entertainment is just one more sign that He truly lives. Thank you, Dean Jones, for your wonderful effort and may He always be praised.