The attitude toward women at the time of Christ was one of subjection. They were thought inferior, fickle, contentious, and indecisive. They had no legal rights and lived under the control of their father and then husband.
“God did not originally intend this for women,” Julie writes. God created Adam and Eve as an equal partnership. The idea of authority and dominion would come after the fall.
“But Jesus came to set them free.” His redemption sets us free from the condemnation of sin. “We are also delivered from the consequences of sin.” Christ removed the curse. “He intended to restore women to the glory they had at creation.”
Julie looks at nine women who had interactions with Jesus. They all needed Jesus. And Jesus was interested in them. In a culture that devalued women, Jesus showed intentional interest in them. He gave them significance.
Julie covers each of the interactions within its cultural context, revealing a purposeful Jesus. “He wanted to transform their lives.”
I was impressed with how Julie dealt with the biblical stories. She first gives the Scripture passage then retells the story in her own words, adding lots of interesting details. She has a section on “digging deeper.” I could tell Julie has done lots of research. She brought out facts about the time period I had never seen before. She then includes a section applying the story's lessons to women today.
Each chapter ends with questions and suggestions for journaling. These could be used for personal or group discussions. This book would make a fine study for a woman's Bible study group.
Free resources, including handouts and lesson plan suggestions, are available for groups using Unexpected Love at www.unecpectedlove.org.
Julie Coleman earned an MA in biblical studies after twenty years teaching children. She now writes and speaks full time, and, with her husband Steve, spends time with family including six grandchildren. They live in the Annapolis, Maryland area.
You can find out more about Julie and her ministry at www.juliecoleman.org.
Thomas Nelson, 256 pages. This book releases February 5, 2013.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.