This book is excellent on two counts. First, it paints a thorough and beautiful picture of Jesus by examining the many parts in the Gospels where he shows love (and these diverse demonstrations of love might surprise you!). Second, it challenges readers to show love and exposes places where they have been lacking in love.
I approached this book somewhat cautiously, afraid it might be "touchy-feely" and moralistic. Neither of my fears were confirmed in the least, and quickly vanished as I read.
A lot of the book can be read as commentary on specific passages from the Gospels. He intersperses his commentary with applications for readers, challenging them to examine their own love for God and others. Miller provides examples and illustrations to illuminate his points, as well as quotations from writers as diverse as Corrie ten Boom, CS Lewis, and Anne Lamott. He keeps a tight focus on Jesus throughout his book, although I learned surprising (and cheering) things about his disciples as well.
Miller divides his book into five sections:
1. Love Shows Compassion - Love involves compassion, and true compassion must involve truly seeing the people around you. Miller studies instances of Jesus' loving compassion -- he really is the God Who Sees!
2. Love Speaks the Truth - Love isn't just about being "nice" to people. Miller explores instances in which Jesus spoke with loving honesty (more straight-forward than we usually dare be!). He also discusses how we can be honest without being judgmental.
3. Love Depends on God - Love isn't self-generated, and it shouldn't rely on the love of others to keep it afloat. Miller explains why our love for others has no reason to be needy.
4. Love is Energized by Faith - Love can be scary. Do we have the energy to love? Do we have the courage to love when things get messy? Miller explores these questions, and finds the answer in God.
5. Love Moves Through Death into Life - In this moving final section, Miller reaches the heart of the Gospel: Jesus' death and resurrection. Love can cost us. It can lead to grief and pain. Miller doesn't gloss over this, but draws out the hope we have through Christ's suffering.
This book was firmly grounded in scripture, and all the more beautiful for that. It has greatly expanded my understanding of Jesus and my appreciation for him. On my first reading, I focused on this aspect of the book. I plan to read it again in order to focus on the applications.
This book would make a great devotional, and would also be useful for group study. The chapters are short, but contain lots to discuss!