Books affect me and leave their mark, but it’s not often a book makes me feel like I’m sitting at the unsandaled feet of Jesus.
When I read The Day I Met Jesus, I felt like I had been transported back to the first century. As I read the inner thoughts of these women, I found soul sisters, kindred spirits and desperate women in need of grace.
I found myself on the pages of this Biblical narrative.
I bookmarked every other page to use as pull quotes in this review. I was tempted to save the last few pages for later, to savor it and to keep the book from coming to an end.
Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth have written a stunning book unlike any book I’ve ever read. Half of each chapter reads like a diary entry. The other half explains the Biblical text, providing historical context.
The Day I Met Jesus chronicles the day Jesus changed the story of these five women.
- The prostitute who loved much.
- The Samaritan at the well.
- Mary of Bethany.
- The woman with the “issue of blood.”
- The woman caught in adultery.
I didn’t expect this book to impact me the way it did. I didn’t expect the five fictionalized characters from the Bible to embed themselves in my heart.
I was a little nervous reading the fictional backstories of these women. But what Frank and Mary have done in this book breathes life into the Scriptural account.
No longer am I rereading the same stories I’ve read countless times. On the pages of this book, I feel like I’m meeting a real person. I’ve rediscovered the power of their faith and the radical Christ I fell in love with years ago.
I met Mary of Bethany afresh and watched her wrestle with the need to be an ideal woman—a battle I fight daily. I watched her throw away the need to please and enter a man’s world to sit at the feet of Jesus as his disciple.
She loved Jesus more than she cared about what others thought of her.
I wept for the woman with the “issue of blood.” I felt her ache and rejection. When she met Jesus, I rejoiced with her and saw Jesus anew through her eyes.
I don’t have the space here to tell you how the women caught in adultery challenged the way I thought about my love for Jesus. I wish I could tell you how the woman at the well’s radical exuberance for the Savior challenged the way I approach sharing my faith.
I won’t soon forget this book, and you won’t either.
I’ve been a student of the Bible, formally and informally, for years, and I learned more about first-century customs from this one book than a pile of my theology books. The authors do a great job of explaining details that we as modern readers fail to see.
This book needs to line the bookshelf of every home and church library.