Who is Jesus? It seems such an obvious question. Many of us have been reading and hearing about Jesus since we were children. We know Jesus. We know all about him. We know every miracle, every sermon. We are experts in the incarnation, his transfiguration, his crucifixion and his glorification. Let me ask you another question: when was the last time your heart was flooded with the love of Christ? That is a very different question. Maybe it has been some time since you felt Christ’s love. If so ‘Gentle and Lowly’ is for you. As Ortlund says in the introduction: ‘This book is written for the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary, the disenchanted, the cynical, the empty. Those running on fumes.’
In this book Dane Ortlund takes us on a beautiful journey in to the heart of Christ, a place many Christians have rarely been. Over twenty-three short Christ-centred chapters the author shows us the love of Christ for weary sinners. Starting with Matthew 11 v 28-30 the author shows us that Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart. Contrary to so much of what we may have experienced from other Christians Jesus’ entire disposition towards sinners is gentleness and love. The book continues with text after text that shows Christ’s deep, deep affection for sinners. Ortlund humanises Jesus and makes him glow with love for wretched sinners and outsiders. I found myself becoming reanimated as Ortlund graphically described Christ's earthly ministry and his constant proximity to sinner.
This book is so easy to read and works well as a devotional. Ortlund beautifully weaves in the best of the Puritans: Thomas Goodwin, John Owen, Richard Sibbes and Jonathan Edwards. Reading this book has inspired me to go back to books such as ‘The Heart of Christ' by Thomas Goodwin. which like ‘Gentle and Lowly’ is heart warming and beautiful. Reading this book feels like a Sabbath rest. My soul felt warmed, restored and my love for Christ was rekindled. I felt deeply humbled at Christ's love for me and felt encouraged to go to him more often confident that he is ready to receive me through his atoning sacrifice on the cross.
If you are discouraged, frustrated, weary, disenchanted, cynical, and empty this book is for you.
Andy Murray, Livingston Free Church