Chapter OneGENTLENESS IS NOT WEAKNESS
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child."
Jesus is often portrayed as gentle in poems, hymns, and
paintings. Yet his "gentleness" seems limp, almost effeminate.
His pale, white skin and his delicate features make
him seem soft, weak, retiring.
What a contrast to the Jesus of Scripture! In Matthew
21 we discover that there is strength in his gentleness
and gentleness in his strength.
1. Why do you think people sometimes assume that a gentle person
is also a weak person?
2. Read Matthew 21:1-17. What impact do you think the events in
verses 1-11 had on the disciples? On the crowd?
3. According to verse 5, the prophet Zechariah describes Jesus as gentle (Zech. 9:9). How is his gentleness demonstrated in the way he
approaches Jerusalem (vv. 5-11)?
4. There is a sudden change of tone as Jesus enters the temple. What
motivates Jesus' actions in verses 12-13?
5. How do Christ's actions in the temple contrast with the popular
image of "gentle Jesus, meek and mild"?
6. In what kinds of situations is a firm, tough love more appropriate
than a gentle response?
7. How is Christ's gentleness again demonstrated in his response to
the blind, the lame, and the children (vv. 14-15)?
8. The chief priests and the teachers of the law are "indignant" when
they see the wonderful things Jesus does and when they hear the
shouts of the children (vv. 15-16). Why are the religious leaders
threatened by these things?
9. How would you evaluate Christ's response to their challenge (vv.
16-17)? Is he confrontive? Gentle? Both?
10. What do you learn about gentleness as you observe Jesus throughout