One of my favorite authors of this generation, Matt Mikalatos, is in the midst of a new blog series where he is retelling the gospel stories in a modern context. It is taking place on Western Seminary’s Transformed blog. Having grown up in the church he felt as if he had all the right answers but none of the awe. “Somewhere along the way, I realized that my emotional responses to Jesus, which ranged from a mild, pleasant feeling all the way to a mild, semi-crippling guilt, didn’t match the emotional responses of the people interacting with Jesus in the scriptures. They felt terror when he calmed the seas. They experienced hate-filled, murderous impulses when they heard his teaching. They wept in his presence, they repented of their sins, they fell at his feet in worship. I started to wonder if maybe I was the simplistic, two-dimensional character. I needed to take a fresh look at Jesus.”
He is just one “translation” into his experiment and I think it is worth keeping an eye on. Too often we have our assumed conception of Jesus and the significance of his work but we rarely have the trembling awe that would be appropriate. I agree with Mikalatos that we must think through the lens that will give us the clearest view – our context. In the very least his series will be enjoyable and maybe just a little awe-inspiring.