Yesterday we touched briefly on the surprising group of men Jesus chose to be his disciples. The fact is: Jesus wasn’t what anybody expected the Messiah to be.
The Jews expected the Messiah to be king and save them from the tyrannous rule of Rome. They expected him to be a strong, military leader – not a poor humanitarian with a rag-tag group of followers.
Even John the Baptist questioned whether Jesus was really the Messiah (11:3). Jesus patiently answered John’s questions by referring back to the Messianic prophesies from Isaiah.
Jesus warned that this world would naturally not understand (11:16-19). And he went so far as to denounce the cities in which he’s preached for rejecting Him and his message (11:20-24).
He turns and says something remarkable. It could be so familiar that it’s lost its impact. But the idea is otherworldly. He reveals that God has hidden understanding of His Kingdom from the wise – but revealed it to children (11:25). Typically, Jesus is not speaking in physical terms, but spiritually. In other words, you must have a child-like faith to hear, understand and receive Jesus’ teachings. Then he offers an invitation – but only to the humble of heart…
“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).
These words are like a balm to my soul. I am heavy laden. I want rest. Could Jesus really be that gentle? Could he be that kind? I believe He is. I guess that makes me like a child :-)