Monday, May 22, 2017

The Light Burden Of Appreciation

Several potentially disappointing things happened before Jesus says this at the end of Matthew chapter 11...

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

John the Baptist seemed trapped in his situation and sent people to say this to Jesus.

"Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?' " - Matthew 11:2-3 ESV

Then Jesus spends time in the middle of the chapter addressing the lack of response that certain areas He visited were showing...

"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." - Matthew 11:21-24 ESV

But, Jesus' yoke was easy and His burden was light. He wasn't sweating it. His performance (a perfect one) wasn't producing overwhelming results but Jesus was free in His thinking. Why? I think we see a clue here...

"At that time Jesus declared, 'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.' " - Matthew 11:25-26 ESV

This reminds me of the artist who makes art and then continues to make it even if it isn't well received.

The Trinity was making a masterpiece of love, mercy and gracious redemption in each place they went.

People were critical but this Is what Jesus saw...

"And Jesus answered them, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.' " - Matthew 11:4-6 ESV

Jesus' yoke was easy and His burden was light.

We have grace and mercy and the pressures of life don't have to invade the walled in garden of our soul. Our existence is a redemptive work of art. Let's live in freedom as we appreciate God's work in simplicity.


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