Gentle and Lowly is a remarkable book, quite unlike anything I’ve read lately. The tone is certainly different, but more importantly, the content is different.
Maybe different isn’t the right word. Different implies new, strange, unique, and in this context “unorthodox.” This book is none of these things. It is different. Different in focus and emphasis and perspective. Different than what many of us naturally think about Jesus. Different than the version of Jesus who lives in many of our heads. Different in a delightful and glorious way. Below are a sampling of quotes from the early chapters of the book.
“This book is written for the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary, the disenchanted, the cynical, the empty.” (13)
“The God revealed in the Scripture deconstructs our intuitive predilections and startles us with one whose infinitude of perfections is matched by his infinitude of gentleness.” (24)
“Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was one of giving back to undeserving sinners their humanity.” (31)
“He does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That’s the whole point. It’s what he came to heal.” (37)
“Jesus does not throw his hands up in the air when he engages sinners. He is calm, tender, soothing, restrained. He deals with us gently.” (53)
“Nothing but coming to him is required – first at conversion and a thousand times thereafter until we are with him upon death.” (64)
“In the past, Jesus did what he now talks about; in the present, Jesus talks about what he then did.” (79)