Jonathan Stiles is a 14-year-old atheist who is coping with his first day of ninth grade at the fervently religious St. Soren's Academy when his idolized older brother Ryan is found dead. As his world crumbles, Jonathan meets an eccentric stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus Christ (except for his white linen leisure suit and sparkling gold chains). Jesus Jackson, as he calls himself, offers to provide faith to Jonathan. He also suggests that Ryan's death may not have been an accident after all.
With the help of his new friend, Henry, and Ryan's grieving girlfriend, Tristan, Johnathan sets out to discover the truth about Ryan's death - and about God, high school, and the meaning of life, while he's at it. But he's distracted by Cassie - number one suspect Alistair's younger sister - who holds the keys to the answers Jonathan is searching for, but who also makes him wonder if he should be searching for them at all.