The most important thing about us is what we think about God. What do you think of when you think about the Son of God? Some might first think about His miracles, the work of atonement, or His teaching. Others may think about His person. Christ is one person with two natures, He is truly God and truly man.
But how many of us (myself included) would run to the heart of Jesus? In Gently and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Dane Ortlund urges us to think more about Jesus’ heart. His heart is the core of His being, the core of His person. It is what makes Him tick, or as Ortlund asks at one point, “What makes Jesus get out of bed in the morning? “
The heart of Christ is important because, as His disciples, this shows us how He will treat us. Jesus does not shun us in our sin and suffering He runs toward us, but sits with us in our sin to bring us out of it. He walks with us in our suffering as one who suffered Himself. Christ’s heart is also important because as we learn about His heart, the heart of the Father and the Holy Spirit are being revealed to us. The Trinity is not at odds with the people of God. Jesus does not have one heart and the Father and the Spirit another. Christ’s heart shows us the heart of the Trinity.
Matthew 11:28-30 is are some of my favorite verses in all the Bible. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Christ is gentle and lowly.
When Jesus tells us that He is gentle, He is also telling us that He is as Dr. Ortlund explains, “the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms.” To say that Jesus is lowly is to say that He is humble, He is accessible. He does not run away from us when we come to Him, He welcomes us with open arms and gives us rest.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ heart is on display when we read the word compassion (Matt. 14:14). His compassion moved Him to action so He could respond no other way.
How do we see the heart of the Father and the Spirit in the heart of Christ? We see that Christ is merciful, and we know the Father is the Father of all mercies (2 Cor. 1:3). The same mercy that Christ displayed during His life on earth is the same mercy the Father gives us in Him. The Father is said to be rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4), and He lavishes upon us the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness (Ephesians 2:7).
In the Upper Room Discourse in John 13-16, Jesus told His disciples He would send them another Comforter like Him, who would dwell within them who is the Holy Spirit. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can experience the heart of Christ.
Gentle and Lowly is saturated in Scripture and makes much of Jesus. I found my heart yearning for more of Christ as I was pointed to Scripture after Scripture in reading this book.
God is sovereign, and a good gift of His sovereignty is the release of a book like this during a worldwide pandemic. Are you hurting and suffering? Look to Christ. Gently and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers will help you to do so.