How Jesus Depicted In Bill Myers's The Wager

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Can a person live by the principles that Jesus outlined in The Sermon on the Mount in the modern world? This is the very question that Bill Myers tackles in his book The Wager, which is a modern-day Job-like story where the Devil makes a bet with God that a human cannot live up to the requirements of The Sermon on the Mount. While Myers is known for books that fall into the mystery and thriller sub-genre of Christian Fiction such as his Forbidden Doors series, this type of undertaking is not new for him. His novel Eli is a similar undertaking in that it adapts the birth of Jesus to modern-day circumstances. In The Wager, Myers uses the story of Michael Steel to reveal how to live by Jesus’ instructions from The Sermon on the Mount despite the insufficiency of human action alone to do so.
The story begins with dialogue between God and the Devil. The Devil claims that a person cannot live by the demands outlined in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In terms that echo the deal made in the Book of Job, God gives the Devil domain over Michael Steel, a successful actor that is in the running for an Oscar, to try and prove his point. Steel decides to live by Jesus’ commands and then is in constant contact with the words of The Sermon on the Mount on the radio, television, and in his own reading.
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The wager between God and the Devil show that the resulting trials that Michael Steel endures are meant to illustrate supernatural powers at work in the lives of Christians. Myers does a very good job of modernizing both the story of Job and the requirements conveyed in Jesus’ teachings by giving modern and relatable situations where these principles are applicable. Therefore, the novel is very effective because it shows readers how to apply biblical teachings in a modern world, even the ones that appear to be
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