Friday, March 29, 2013

Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women

Recently I had the opportunity to read Julie Zine Coleman's Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women.

Unexpected Love chronicles the stories of 9 women in the New Testament whose lives were changed by their contact with Jesus. These women include Mary, the mother of Jesus; the hemorrhaging woman; the sinful woman who washed Jesus' feet; the Syrophoenician woman with the demon-possessed child; the adulterous woman who faced stoning; Martha; the Samaritan woman at the well; Salome, James & John's mother; and Mary Magdalene.

The thesis of Unexpected Love is that Jesus, in His death on the cross, removed the Curse that we were under due to Adam & Eve's disobedience, and in so doing "intended to restore women to the glory that they had at creation. Nowhere can we see that intent better displayed than in Jesus' conversations with women" (xv).

Each woman has a unique story with very different circumstances and situations, from rich to poor, Gentile to Jew. The only guiding thread between the women is their need for Jesus and His love for them. 

It's beautiful, really: the love Jesus shows to women. Before Christ, women were socially inferior, with very few rights and certainly not valued as men were, especially Jewish men. But Jesus changed all of that. His life and death made a way for women and men to be on equal footing: The ground at the foot of the cross is level.

I chose this book for a deeper understanding of God's feelings towards women, and I must say that I had to bribe myself in order to finish it. 

There are real gems in Unexpected Love, like this passage:

I like that there are discussion questions and a journal prompt at the end of each chapter, so you can do a group study or work independently. I did enjoy the journaling as it made me dig deeper into my own thoughts about Jesus' love for me, and I will probably come back to them again. But, overall, I didn't feel like I took a whole lot away from reading the book.

If you are a new Christian or have only a basic understanding of the Bible, then Unexpected Love is a great book to introduce you to women of the New Testament and their social status.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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