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

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Scripture tells us that the words of Jesus made people uncomfortable, confused, angry, repentant, worshipful, and riotous. Today, we read the words of Christ in a steady, even tone and find ourselves wondering if maybe we're missing something. Could it be that we've lost the emotional power of Jesus's words simply because we're too familiar with them?
With incredible insig
Paperback, 190 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Baker Books
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  117 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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John Otte
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent reimagining of some very familiar stories. This book will help you encounter Jesus in a whole new way. Highly recommended!
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mikalatos begins The First Time We Saw Him with a disclaimer: "Remember, the point is not to breathe new life into the Scriptures. It's to remind us that they're already alive." And, boy, are they ever!

Let me also include a disclaimer: I have been a Christian my entire life. There have been moments that I have "taken off" my WWJD bracelet (or attitude), but there is no possible way for me to separate myself from Christ. I know that. BUT . . . I find that the stories, the parables, can get a bit
Eric Black
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity, bible
Matt gives new perspective on the stories of Jesus by telling them in the guise of the 21st century. These stories are told over and over in Bible studies, sermons, devotionals, commentaries, etc., etc., but Matt makes them sound new and believable, believable in that they make more sense and are all the more unbelievable for making sense. If that makes sense. The First Time We Saw Him is also a great introduction to Jesus for those who don't know these stories.
Rachel Marie
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This was definitely such an interesting concept. The gospel stories reimagined in modern day parables. And I think it worked, mostly.

Mikalatos starts with the birth of Jesus--Joshua, in this case, and goes until the resurrection and beyond. 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
Grayson Gilbert
Dec 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Matt Mikalatos sets out with a noble goal in his book, The First Time We Saw Him. The intended purpose of the book appeals to understanding the scriptures with fresh eyes, namely, the eyes we once saw them with at the initial point of salvation. In these early months of receiving the gift of faith, we read with veracity, having scales fall off of our eyes due to the cleansing effect of His word upon our souls.

While he never goes into an in depth description of what discipleship is, Matt aptly po
Kate Campbell
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful retelling of the Gospel story.
Jul 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really struggled with how to rate this book. I am stuck somewhere in-between two and three stars. On the one hand Mikalatos writes with energy and honesty; and he is willing to challenge the passivity of many Christians; I think he is correct to note that far too many have been desensitized to the power of scripture and the story of Jesus, his life, and his message.

But in seeking to re-introduce Jesus he mostly just dresses up conventional perspectives and theology in modern language and setti
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This isn’t the first time I have read a book by Matt Mikalatos. A few years ago, I read The Night of the Living Dead Christian, Mikalatos’s take on the monster novel genre. He humorously used werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, androids and zombies to talk about human sinfulness and our need for spiritual transformation (and its possibility). His first novel, (My) Imaginary Jesus, explored some of the false images of Jesus we Christians present. Mikalatos cast himself as a character in both no ...more
Courtney Huskisson
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a book for those who perhaps know the Bible 'too well'. For those that grew up hearing the stories of Jesus and the gospels, we begin to take a 'been there, read that' attitude towards the scriptures. The emotions, the tension, the drama of the life and stories of Jesus are lost on us.

Mikalatos works to re-tell the stories of Jesus in the gospels that evokes the same kinds of emotions that they were written to create. This is in no way an exegetical study of the passages--in fact, in mo
J.C. Morrows
This book took me completely by surprise! I actually had not expected to review it but due to a happy accident, I got the chance and I am thrilled to say that it is a wonderful book that everyone should read!

Matt Mikalatos asks us to take a step back and look at our faith from a different perspective – to look at God from a new perspective.

How many of us have a skewed view of God? How many of us feel detached from God because we just don’t feel a connection with him?

Matt points out that those of
Jennifer Pickwell
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“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.
Candace Lazzaro
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As always, Matt Mikalatos writes a compelling and readable book that keeps you wanting more. Good thing I'm about two books behind reading his published books or I'd have nothing to look forward to! Well, a few books to look forward to, but not a Matt book. However, if you haven't tried a Mikalatos book, hopefully this shiny review will make you run out and get one or find an e-book to buy.

This book is the story of Jesus told as if it had happened in modern time. It's fun, its exciting, its tra
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
There were many things to like about this book - it was well-written and the author sounded sincere and humble. I was hoping to find a little more ingenuity in how the stories were retold, hoping that there might be a little more freshness to a modern interpretation, but there were still a few that were very good. I liked how the anecdotal portions illustrated his points, and didn't take over the whole book. Overall, I thought it was pretty well done and worth the small amount of time it took to ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The stories retold in this book will feel like nothing new to most "seasoned" Christians especially those who are lucky enough to go to a church that tries to deeply understand the message of the Bible. Despite the fact that none of the retellings in this book felt new or radical to me, the book made me step back and evaluate my life and where I want to go which is a great thing! This book is a great refocusing tool for everybody, but especially new or struggling Christians.
May 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was a First-Reads book that I received to review. I didn't not like the book, I thought it was a very interesting take on the gospel, but I don't think that the gospel needs retelling. I think the gospel needs to stay the gospel.

I like the fact the the author discussed where his version came from by citing scripture, but I still think trying to put Jesus in the modern world is not something that should be done. It loses something in the translation.

Zachary Hanje
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Simply wonderful. Matt retells old gospel stories with such crisp writing and provocative narrative that refreshes the original stories in neat ways. As Matt says in the intro: “What if we could find a way to make [the stories] all real to us again?… the point is not to breathe new life into the Scriptures. It’s to remind us that they're already alive." Well done, Matt. Well done.
Matt Cline
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I give this book three stars. I am stingy with them or at least I am becoming more and more so. I like it and it is helpful to a point. And that point in my estimation was three stars.
The whole book can be summed up it like this: it is like if... This is how he handles the gospel text to try and help illuminate it for the modern reader. I will post a full review soon.
Alexis Grant
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book does exactly what it says- You feel like you meet Jesus for the first time, today in the 21st century. It's a new lens to understand the serious and graveness of what Jesus did. He was a revolutionary, but of love and not war.
Erica Parlee
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Jan 18, 2015
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Matthew John
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Jun 14, 2014
Mark Frizzell
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Jun 23, 2014
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Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend... Refreshing, well written, and a quality gut check book.
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Samantha Hanson
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Dec 12, 2017
Jonathan Lucas
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