The First Time We Saw Him: Awakening to the Wonder of Jesus

The First Time We Saw Him: Awakening to the Wonder of Jesus

by Matt Mikalatos

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441246325
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/10/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Matt Mikalatos is the author of My Imaginary Jesus and Night of the Living Dead Christian, and has been on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) for fifteen years. Matt has an active blog called The Burning Hearts Revolution, and can be found at www.mikalatos.com. Matt has a masters degree in biblical theology from Western Seminary. Matt and his family reside near Portland, Oregon.
Matt Mikalatos is the author of The First Time We Saw Him, My Imaginary Jesus, and Night of the Living Dead Christian, and has been on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) for fifteen years. Matt is an active member of the group blog at norvillerogers.com, and can also be found at www.mikalatos.com. Matt has a master's degree in biblical theology from Western Seminary. Matt and his family reside near Portland, Oregon.

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First Time We Saw Him, The: Awakening to the Wonder of Jesus 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Mirtika More than 1 year ago
Giving the Reader Fresh Eyes with Retellings of Gospel Passages. What Matt Mikalatos (who is more familiar to many of us for writing fiction, not non-fiction) has done with THE FIRST TIME WE SAW HIM: Awakening to the Wonder of Jesus is gracefully, gently, movingly introduce us to the shocking, startling, astonishing Jesus and all those flawed people he encountered or told parables about. Matt is sensitive in his treatment, and I actually found myself moved to tears more than once. I actually took A LONG TIME to read this. This pace doesn’t have anything to do with it being flawed or badly written. No, this is well-written and heartfelt. It had to do with how i used it: I used it as a meditational tool, a devotional. So, I read a section of story, stop. I’d read a section of his personal commentary, stop. A section of story, stop. I reread some parts I liked more than others (the prodigal, the good Samaritan, the woman with the perfume offering, the walking on water). I liked seeing these familiar accounts in unfamiliar settings. And Matt’s commentary has wisdom and heart. You can tell this is a good man who loves Jesus and loves the people who need him. New eyes–it’s a good thing. The format of the book is simple: alternating. First: Matt will retell a part of the gospels in a 21st century setting in a way that makes it immediate and accessible, not ancient and foreign. These could be our neighbors and relatives. These could be US. The prodigal is a hedonistic Hollywood party-guy whose downfall makes him long for the ranch life and generous Papa he insulted and spurned. The Good Samaritan is a modern-day Muslim man helping someone that”good” Christians passed right by with excuses many people might rationlize. The rich young ruler becomes a billionaire businessman with a void within that success and privilege cannnot fill. I don’t want to give too many examples and spoil the unfolding for you. Second: Matt moves into his own voice, commenting from his life and his ministry experiences, offering his thoughts on the things spoken of and taught in the Scriptures that he has retold. His skill for fiction helps the retellings shine and his insights into the teachings help the non-fiction enlighten and inspire the reader. His skill as a writer is evident in each part. If you feel as if you are taking the gospel stories about the scandalous one–the Scandalon–the Son of God, the Savior, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings for granted, then maybe you need to remember what it was like, back then, the first time YOU saw him. This book might help. And if you know someone who isn't a believer and who might shun a Bible outright or be confused by the 2000 year old context, you can introduce them to Jesus with this--modern retellings that aren't lightweight.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
This was definitely such an interesting concept. The gospel stories reimagined in modern day parables. And I think it worked, mostly. Of course, Mikalatos starts with the birth of Jesus--Joshua, in this case. The stories aren't super changed or anything, just names changed and transported into modern-day. But it did suffice to bring it into a new light. So often, we forget the stories, and how they apply to us. "But we have no Pharisees nowadays, it's not the same thing." Well, Mikalatos shows us that it is the same thing. Of course, there are going to be problems when translating Jesus into the modern day. But for what he could do, I think Mikalatos did a good job. The author's commentary is inserted to help us understand each story, and truly remind us of the wonder of Jesus. ...when people say, "Where was God?" I ask myself, "Where was I?" I'm his representative. When people ask, "Where was God?" God's people should ask, "Where were we?" -page 134 Although I wouldn't say this was very challenging, per se. But, I do think that it did what it set out to do, in making us rethink and reawaken to the wonder that is Jesus. So many times in our Christian walk, can we become stale, or not fully understand. But this will open your eyes and bring a new understanding to the gospel stories.
RubieLee More than 1 year ago
"Gospel stories retold for today," a tag line that certainly grabbed my attention. One, because I am a fan of Francine Rivers and Liz Curtis Higgs, who have retold Bible stories with great skill. I knew this book could be great or truly terrible. Especially if the Gospel got lost in the modern retelling. However, to my surprise, this book is quite amazing. I am the prime example of the person who grew up in church and vacation Bible school, in the cinder block basement rooms of Baptist Churches. I dare say there is a Bible story I haven't heard at least 100 times. Author Mike Mikalatos managed to retell the Gospel story in such a way that it challenged and unsettled my heart. The First Time We Saw Him, left me hungry and desperate to go back and read these astonishing accounts in scripture with new eyes. More importantly, after reading the first few chapters, I leaped into action to help a neighbor I had been avoiding helping for several years. I know...a shameful admission, but its true. Mikalatos retelling of the Good Samaritan was eye-opening to my own failings to reach out to those who might slow me down during my "too busy for interruptions," day. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is well worth the few hours it took me to consume it. Read this book! I was given a complimentary copy of this book by BakerBooks in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated and all opinions are my own.