I recently finished reading Julie Coleman’s “unexpected love – God’s heart revealed in Jesus’ conversations with women“. I will begin by confessing, I was given this book for free by “BookSneeze” in order to do an honest review. I chose the book from a list of others, simply because as a man with 4 daughters (one currently still in Africa – help us bring her home!), I’m very interested in how the words Jesus spoke to women can help reveal more about God’s heart. I counted on them having small sections here and there that were directed at women, and it’s true – each chapter has a “For Today’s Woman” section.
What I hadn’t counted on, was the Biblical scholarship that went into each chapter. Julie Coleman is obviously not just another “blogger-turned-feminine-book-writer”. More than just “inspirational”, her book was very educational about the times and situations we read from Jesus’ life. She retells each story in a descriptive way, and then combines her imaginative story-telling with elements of inductive Bible study to draw out truths many of us may have missed, or simply not heard of yet.
An excerpt from Chapter 8, and the story of Salome from Matthew 20, “The Greek word, ‘prays’, translated ‘meek’ was used in those days to describe three different things: medicine, wind, and a colt that had been broken. Each possesses power…..But each of these things, when not under control, can cause great damage.”
The insight she offers into these nine different conversational moments Jesus has with women, reminds and reveals to us so much about the Father’s Love. The Word of God is full of things that offer to transform our lives, and we forget sometimes just how much it changes things – and has been for a long time. I think the strongest word I would say about this book is that it’s not simply a book about the unexpected love Jesus has for women, or the “womens liberation” movement some of the stories could be co-opted by. The unexpectedness comes as we realize God’s heart for all people – no matter their perceived value or role in the world today.
If you’re reading this blog, you live in a place of influence and have privileges enough that you should already be aware of your value. But this book should call us to live lives of “going out” into the world to find people who may not inherently know their worth in God’s eyes and heart. The poor, the disenfranchised, the imprisoned, the lonely, and the powerless. I pray that this book doesn’t simply stir the hearts of women everywhere to sit in their Sunday school classes discussing the great questions at the end of each chapter. I pray it goes well beyond that, into transforming women who will realize – “Wow, Jesus went out of his way to reveal God’s love for people who weren’t aware of it – I want to go and do likewise!”
There is potential this book can help toward that end…