At the end of Matthew 11, there is this super famous passage that is a quote of Jesus. He says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This comes after Jesus jumps all over three of the towns in which He had done a ton of miracles, and they didn’t repent. (verses 20-24). Then He talks about how the wise and educated aren’t getting it, but the uneducated people are trusting Him. It seems that Jesus frustration and hurt at people who are self-sufficient leads Him to this statement of compassion for the broken and hurting.
But what is it about the ones who reject Him that puts them at odds with Jesus? They are well educated. This isn’t about whether or not you have a college degree. It’s about what people rely on to get them through. The folks He is upset with believe they are smart enough to take care of themselves. They have developed a system that protects them, and keeps other people out, giving them power. They designed a religion, based on God’s teachings, that gives them control and power.
What I think we all need to realize is that anyone with enough technology to read this can do those things. What do I rely on? My system, my control, my designs, my words, my influence, my …..?
Or am I like the other people in the story. They were so beaten down they had given up. They had no power, and knew it. They had no way out, and didn’t deny it. They knew if they had to depend on themselves, they were done.
This is where it hits me hard. It’s not about the religious parts of the Pharisees, necessarily. I don’t worry about how many extra buttons my coat has when I wear it on Sunday. That doesn’t mean I’m off the hook. It’s about how independent of God I want to be. That rating can get pretty high sometimes. I begin to realize that if I have to depend on God and not myself, I might not be able to make it. I’m so stubborn, selfish, and prideful. I like things my way, all the time. I’m not sure of how to get out of it. I’m stuck.
And God whispers, “That’s where I want you. You can’t make it. You need me. So Jason, come to ME with this tiring and heavy load of selfishness, I’ll give you a rest. Your pride and self-sufficiency is killing you. Try out my way of living, it’s a lot lighter. Be like me, I’m gentle and humble. When you live My way, you soul won’t run itself to death. Trust me. It works.”
And really, what do I have to lose?