Randy and I are as opposite as night and day in the way we approach and accomplish a task. We knew we were opposites before we were married. We grew up together in the same community, went the same church with our dads working at the same place. But that is almost all we had in common. I do admire his way of thinking as interesting, but I will admit readily that I am pretty stubborn about “holding my own” in my thinking. Yes, kids, we know we are opposites when we attempt to accomplish any given task. There was a time in our ministries, we were given a phycological profile that proved just how opposite we were. Well, duh, we already knew that. How do we live knowing how opposite we are?
We had to learn and are still learning at each phase of our lives to merge our ways, asking for wisdom, to live life with love and care. We married and raised our children with this theology. We know we are opposites when we approach work tasks. Asking, “what do you think” and listening is key to deciding how to complete a task. Sometimes it is “you do this and I’ll do that” because through the years we have come to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so each one does their part to accomplish the whole. We are both project/goal oriented, so this works for us.
“Love, love will keep us together”, is an old pop song that rings in my heart. The love of God in us is what trumps all that is opposite in our God-created beings. Because of God, there is one Person in whom we are in complete agreement—we both need a Savior and Lord and we cannot be that for each other. Only Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, could bring two opposites together for His glory.
In this passage, you are probably wondering why I began with “opposite” thinking stories. Jesus came down from heaven and moved into the neighborhood of religiosity with opposite thinking with what it means to walk with God. “He came to serve, not to be served”. That was opposite in itself as a Master Teacher. “He came to seek and to save lost people” who were living opposite ways to what God intended for them to live. This, too, was not on the radar of the religious elite at the time.
The religious leaders, the “wise and clever” of the day, were so stubborn in their thinking that they would not yield to Truth as the Person of Jesus who taught the opposite of their thinking about Kingdom of God living. They missed it. They missed Him, “the Messiah to come”, as read from Scripture scrolls in the Synagogues. So, Jesus reveals Himself, God in the flesh, to the common folks who are ready to hear the opposite of what they have been told with burdened oppression by the religious leaders as well as the Roman government.
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 11:25-30, The New Living Translation
Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
WHAT WE LEARN…
- Opposite thinking from God’s thinking is destructive, not sustainable, and is it not right or good as God’s best for us.
- Jesus thanks God for revealing Himself to those with “child-like” faith, not childish but child-like, trusting God completely.
- To know God is to know Jesus. Jesus does what the Father tells Him, for they are in complete agreement with God’ Holy Spirit. Three-In-One.
- Jesus knows the oppression of opposite-from-God thinking that has been a burden to God’s people, His chosen of Israel.
- “Come to Me” is a welcome invitation to those scratching out a living in tough times. Just knowing Jesus recognizes our heavy burdens is encouraging and reminds us of his love and compassion for us!
- Where the yoke that fits! “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” THIS is the complete opposite of what the religious leaders were teaching and lording over the people to do it their way or the highway! MY yoke and MY teaching will set you free, making your burdens much lighter. (The yoke’s on the Pharisees, ha! Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’m my dad’s daughter.)
- “I will give you rest.”–Jesus These are the most loving, caring words on the planet. You will find rest in Me, says Jesus. He is not oppressive. He wants what is best and he knows when it is time to rest. “So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:2-3, NLT
THINK ABOUT IT…
If you are tired, worn out and weary maybe you took on the yoke of someone else but not the one that fits you. Maybe you are wearing a self-made yoke instead of wearing the yoke that Jesus especially made for you to do his work in the best way that fits you.
Yokes were built from wood and metal to exactly fix the oxen who would bear the burden of the load more easily. The yoke was carefully measured and created just for that particular beast of burden so it would not rub raw sores on their skins or pull in places that would hurt them and cause scars. That’s why Jesus used this analogy to teach those who were oxen fitters and drivers. They got the message, do we?
Come to Me says Jesus and I will give you exactly what you need. Friends, gratefully except this message of opposite the world Kingdom living.
Get a new yoke fitting today! You’ll look fabulous in it!
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You are my everything! I’m coming to you! YOU are everything I need. Thank you, Jesus for saving my soul. Thank you for fitting and refitting your yoke upon me as you invite me to your work from time to time. Thank you for giving me rest when I need it most. Thank you for redirecting my life consistently from worldview thinking to your thinking. I still have a lot to learn but I am willing and eager for you to teach me more.
In Jesus Name, Amen