How many of us have ever read one of Jesus' sayings in the Gospels and said, "I wonder what that means?" or "Wow! That's extreme." I have read or heard the words of Jesus all of my life--so much so, that I often forget to be shocked at many of the things He says. What did Jesus mean when He said, "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (Jn 6:53)? Or why did He say that whoever says "You fool!" merits hell? How are we to understand Jesus' statements about divorce and remarriage? Or the cry of dereliction "My God! My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Here, the late evangelical scholar F.F. Bruce has helpfully worked through 70 of these hard sayings in the chronological order in which they are found in the Gospels. The chapters are usually 2-3 pages, which makes it suitable as a tool for daily devotional reading. On the whole, lay people should be able to read this with ease, though Bruce does occasionally foray into the world of Biblical criticism. People not familiar with ideas such as Q or "pillar sayings" may need to do a bit of research to better understand his insights, but most of the chapters would not require this. There is minimal work with Greek or Aramaic. The little he does use, he explains well. So, I would feel comfortable recommending this book to educated laity.
I enjoyed many of the insights Bruce brought to the table. The scholar in me often wanted him to go further and deeper in his explanations, but he gave sufficient evidence for his statements in most cases. 4 out of 5 stars.