God’s Life-Giving Word of Discipleship
Matthew 11:20-30: Jesus speaks to those who refuse to turn to God, warning them of God’s judgment. He affirms his identity as God’s Son and says that no one can know the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Jesus then invites those who are burdened to come to him and receive the rest he promises.
[Jesus said:] “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”
The Unbelieving Towns
20The people in the towns where Jesus had performed most of his miracles did not turn from their sins, so he reproached those towns. 21 “How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have long ago put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins! 22I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to the people of Tyre and Sidon than to you! 23 And as for you, Capernaum! Did you want to lift yourself up to heaven? You will be thrown down to hell! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would still be in existence today! 24 You can be sure that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to Sodom than to you!”
Come to Me and Rest
25At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. 26Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.
27 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
Reread verses 28-30. A yoke was a wooden bar or frame put on the necks of animals like cattle or oxen so that they could pull a plow or wagon. It was a symbol of obedience and hard work. Why would Jesus have used this metaphor? What does it mean to you to put on Jesus’s yoke?
Lord Jesus, you know those times when I am tired from carrying those burdens in life that weigh me down. Thank you for the rest you have promised to all who come to you. May I put on your yoke and learn from you the way of gentleness and humbleness and find renewed strength in you. Amen.
Those burdened with worry and anxiety
Matthew 16:1-12: Some religious leaders seek to test Jesus.