Friday, November 12, 2010

Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

Just as the Father is pleased to reveal himself to the unsophisticated and simple-minded and hide from the wise and intelligent, so he is pleased to invite the weak and weary to himself, not the strong and successful. The invitation "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden" may sound like Jesus is just saying, "If you ever need help or find yourself in a jam, I'm there for you." But it's so much more than that. He's not saying, "Even if you're weak, you can come to me." Rather he is telling us that you can't come unless you are weak, unless you have thoroughly given up on yourself. He does not offer himself to the proud and self-sufficient but says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart." In order to have him you must learn his ways of humility, otherwise you will never see how spiritually destitute you truly are, how much you are in need of the living water he offers.

We like to think we are perfectly capable of living our own lives and, sure, once in a while we might need Jesus' help, but even then we are careful to ask him for the kind of help that we think he'd be willing to give. We're very calculating about all this. Coming to him with this prayer request would be silly, whereas that request is too hard to answer. I could ask him for this one here, something that he wouldn't mind providing me, which I'm half expecting is going to work out by itself anyhow. But this will never do. The strong and capable cannot fully rest in Jesus' arms, cannot come to know his heart of gentleness and humility. And so Jesus veils himself from the proud but reveals himself to the poor and needy. It's another way that he blinds some but give others the sight to see.

Once you do see him with eyes of humility, you no longer have to bear your own yoke. Jesus willingly takes the burden upon himself. Whatever burdens have weighed upon you, you no longer have to carry alone, whether anxieties or demands or responsibilities, Jesus wants to take them from you. He gave them to you in the first place so that you would come to grips with your own frail limitations, and now he takes them from you so that you will know the freedom of relying on his strength alone. Years after Jesus ascended to glory, Peter remembered the teaching of his Lord and summed it up this way: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).

No comments:

Post a Comment