Unexpected Love by Julie Zine Coleman is a study on “God’s heart revealed in Jesus’ conversations with women.” The book explores nine conversations that Jesus had with women during His earthly ministry; these women are Jesus’ mother, the woman with the issue of blood, the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with her hair, the Syrophoenician woman, the woman caught in adultery, Martha, the woman at the well, Salome, and Mary Magdalene.
Each chapter begins with the actual text from Scripture written out, then the author’s paraphrase of the event. I really appreciated that the Scriptural account came first, which allowed any reader not familiar with the Bible to see the biblical record first, then see the author’s thoughts. Julie’s gift for writing clearly comes through in her paraphrase of these events.
After the story is set up there is a Digging Deeper section where it is obvious that the author has done an immense amount of study. In this section she includes details gathered from outside sources such as the Talmud, Josephus, and early church fathers and historians.
The next section of each chapter is a list of questions. These questions are ones that the reader may find herself wondering without even realizing it, and then they are clearly answered.
Finally, each chapter ends with some Food for Thought—some additional points to ponder—as well as a Journaling section for those who choose to do so.
This book is written to women, but as a man I gained so much from it. I highly recommend this book to both women and men who want to dig deep into these nine events from Scripture. It is also a powerful argument for the nonbeliever who thinks that Christianity is a boys’ club or amale-dominated religion.