Hollywood director and writer Cyrus Nowrasteh has some big questions for Jesus after writing and directing the soon-to-release film, "The Young Messiah," based on famed writer Anne Rice's book, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt."
When asked if he could ask Christ one question, especially after spending so much time pouring over the details of the Christian savior's life, Nowrasteh said that he would want to know about the presence and sequence of "miracles" in the scriptures.
"It came up so many times, the issue of miracles, and the question was, 'Well, he doesn't perform his first miracle until the wedding, where he turned water into wine, but he's induced to do that by his mother, by Mary," he told The Church Boys podcast. "And then the question that I would ask: Is that the first recorded miracle — or the first miracle, period?"
Nowrasteh said that he wasn't able to get the theologians that he consulted with on the film to agree on the details, which are recounted in the Bible in John 2, and he said that the question has also opened up other related curiosities.
"How does [Mary] know you can perform miracles?" he asked. "And when did you first realize that you could?"
Listen to Nowrasteh discuss "The Young Messiah" below:
Nowrasteh, a Christian whose previous projects include "The Stoning of Soraya M." and "The Path to 9/11," said that he took great care in consulting faith leaders to ensure that the contents of "The Young Messiah" are accurate and theologically sound.
This is notable considering that the Bible doesn't tell us much about Jesus' childhood — and that's the central theme of Nowrasteh's movie.
"He's 7 years old throughout the story, so we wanted to make sure that, theologically speaking, we weren't doing something that would be offensive or would be a problem," he said, adding that the first priority was to make sure that there was "nothing in the story that contradicts anything in the Bible."
Nowrasteh added, "We can't have him as a child doing things that are inconsistent with his character as we know it."
Watch the trailer below:
Clearly, the film adaptation has resonated, as it has attracted scores of endorsements and support from well-known individuals across the Christian spectrum, including: Dr. Ted Baehr, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hugh Hewitt, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and Ron Luce, among others.
In the end, the movie promises to offer up something quite different from past looks at Jesus and his family.
"We take you inside the holy family in a fashion that you've never seen," Nowrasteh said. "In this movie you are inside this family and I think even the secular audiences connect with this movie on that level. What would it have been like for Mary and Joseph to parent the child of God?"
"The Young Messiah" releases nationwide on March 11.