A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

Jon Slack

Jon Slack served as Ministry Education Enabler at the diocese in 2021.

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

a person holding a book titled 'a.d. 30'

Do you ever long to have been IN the Gospel stories?

To have been there when Jesus called Zacchaeus down from the tree. To have seen him touch a leper, or heard him speak to a storm. To watch in bewilderment as he accepted the overzealous worship of a prostitute. Or as he taught world-shattering truths like how we should (and can) love our enemies. Or as he made hard-to-grasp claims about being one with the Father.

I’ve had the privilege of walking some of the places Jesus walked - I even tried standing on the Sea of Galilee, which for the record is definitely normal water… And yet imagining what it was actually like to be with Jesus still comes as a challenge. Often I wish the Gospels felt closer. That I could enter them. Encounter them. Sense, feel, smell them.

Ted Dekker is an imaginative, adventurous New York Times bestselling author. He also happens to be a Christian, raised by missionaries in Western Papua in Indonesia. But as he grew in his faith, he also felt this longing to be able to enter the world of the Gospels and encounter the incarnate Jesus in a more visceral way.

Which is why he wrote A.D. 30. It’s his attempt to enter into the world of the Gospels. And he sought to do it, not through the eyes of someone on the inside - like one of the disciples - but through the eyes of an absolute outsider. The story is told through the point of view of Maviah, an outcast bedouin from the Arabian desert. By taking that angle, Dekker is able to introduce some important themes that we often miss in the Gospels - honour and shame, what it meant to be an outcast, Jewish hopes, the realities of the Roman empire - yet in a way that sinks in much deeper than a Bible college lecture.

I’ll warn you: it’s not a lighthearted read, nor is it cheesy. Without giving much away, within a few chapters Maviah is running for her life after witnessing the murder of her son, tasked with forming an alliance with King Herod. It weaves in the story of Jesus creatively, in a way that makes you realise that Jesus was constantly ministering to people exactly like her - and just how world-shattering his words and actions really were.

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker can be bought as an Amazon Kindle book, or can be ordered from Book Depository.

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We have invited these writers to share their experiences, ideas and opinions in the hope that these will provoke thought, challenge you to go deeper and inspire you to put your faith into action. These articles should not be taken as the official view of the Nelson Diocese on any particular matter.