I just finished reading The Grieving Sisters, which is the third book in Timothy Keller‘s “The Encounters with Jesus Series.” Available in Kindle Edition for $1.99 from Amazon.com, it may be generous to describe it as an “e-book,” but perhaps more as an “e-pamphlet.” It’s not a very long book, and took me less than a day to finish.
But the length of the book is not a reflection of its quality. I enjoyed reading it, and appreciated some of the nuances of the Lazarus story that Keller highlighted, as well as his descriptions of and statements about Jesus.
Keller opens with this:
Who are we as human beings? What’s wrong with us? What’s wrong with the whole world? What, if anything, can put us right? Unless you have some working answers to those questions you really cannot decide what things are worth spending your life on.
Keller then proceeds to answer that question, using the Lazarus story and Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha to explain why Jesus is the answer to our problems.
He [Jesus] is the Lion and the Lamb. Despite his high claims, he is never pompous; you never see him standing on his own dignity. Despite being absolutely approachable to the weakest and broken, he is completely fearless before the corrupt and powerful. He has tenderness without weakness. Strength without harshness. Humility without the slightest lack of confidence. Unhesitating authority with a complete lack of self-absorption. Holiness and unending convictions without the lack of approachability. Power without insensitivity.
To quote my pastor’s current sermon series, Jesus is better.
The witnesses said about Jesus, “see how he loved Lazarus”; but really we must behold how he loves us. He became human, mortal, vulnerable, killable—all out of love for us.