Sunday, September 13, 2009

Matthew 11 -- Tough Teachings

As Jesus deploys the 12 on their ministry tour, he does the same and begins to teach. John the Baptist sends some folks to double check Jesus is the one. The response of Jesus is wonderful, it is not about the verbal answer of Jesus, he say tell John what you see happening, and he can determine. It was not the words of Jesus that carry the most convincing evidence of who he is, it is the actions of Jesus which display the work of the Kingdom of God.

After clearing that up, Jesus turns his attention on the religious leaders of the day. He challenges their fickle nature how the condemned John for his minimalist approach and they accuse Jesus of being a glutton. It seems some things never change, people are rarely happy with what is, and would rather focus on what was or is suppose to be. As a part of this teaching Jesus breaks out the whopping stick and offers some harsh words for the towns. Basically he tells them you have experienced the Kingdom of God in your midst, and yet you do not change the way you live.

The end of the chapter, often taken out of context, offers relief to those who are burdened and heavy laden. Jesus refers to his yoke. While helpful when we are struggling, it has nothing to do with struggling in day to day life, it is about the oppression of religion. The yoke referred to the teachings of the religious leaders, the burden was the hoops and loops being imposed upon the people. Basically, Jesus is saying all those who are tired of the religious crap, follow me and you will experience something completely different. The yoke of Jesus is freedom. The yoke of Jesus is fullness. The yoke of Jesus, is joy in the effort and journey. It is not free of work and challenge, yet it is full of grace and peace.

None of this is easy teaching. It was not then, it is not now. Still the Word of God remains, and the teachings of Jesus beckon us to the life we are called to live.

No comments:

Post a Comment