When someone opens the Four Gospels for the first time, even if he is yet an unbeliever, it seems hardly possible that he will fail to observe the compassion and gentleness of Jesus of Nazareth. Even if such a reader cannot yet correctly answer the question, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is he?” (Matthew 22:42), he nonetheless finds vibrant in those pages a figure “who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), a person supremely attractive for his gentleness and mercy. Jesus himself, moreover, drew attention to this trait, making it a motive for men to become his disciples. “Take my yoke upon you,” he said, “and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
Five aspects of this self-description of Jesus are especially striking and worthy of reflection.
First, the Greek word . . .