Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
Revelation of the Kingdom and its Consequences
25 Around that time, Jesus said, "Praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You showed those who know little what you hid from those who think they are wise and understand everything. 26 Yes, Father, it happened in the way that pleased you. 27 My Father has given me all knowledge about his Kingdom. No one knows what the Son is really like except the Father. And no one knows what the Father is really like except the Son and those to whom the Son decides to show the Father.
28 Come to me all of you who work hard to live right and find the duties of life weigh you down. I will give you rest. 29 Pick up my yoke, place it on your shoulders, and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble. You will find rest. 30 My yoke I give you is easy and my pack I give you is light."
In this passage from Matthew, Jesus addressed knowledge of God and the consequences of that knowledge.
25 At that time, having answered, JESUS said, "I praise you (out loud), Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you hid these (things) from the wise and intelligent and you showed them to babes. 26 Yes, Father, because it was a pleasing (thought) before you. 27 Everything has been given to ME by MY Father; no one understands the SON except the Father but neither does anyone understand the Father except the SON and to whom the SON might choose to reveal (it).
10:25 "having answered" In context of the verse, Jesus was not asked a question. The phrase, then, was redundant.
10:27 "Everything has been given to me by my Father" What does "everything" mean in this context? Two answers are possible: power or knowledge. In light of the verse, knowledge is preferred. Jesus was praising God for the revelation he received.
Jesus praised God (literally "acknowledged" God in public) for revealing his Kingdom to the common people (those who knew little) instead of those who thought they understood all (i.e., the scribes and the Pharisees). This is the way God wanted it to happen. [11:25-26]
Knowledge of God requires some explanation. Jesus did not merely speak of dogma (knowledge about God). He addressed a deeper issue: intimate experience of God. An analogy might help us understand this point. We all have had rare experiences of authentic encounter with another human being. A meeting where all our good and bad points, all our strengths and weaknesses are revealed. The other person in the encounter know us for who we truly are. If we apply this experience to God, only the Father and the Son truly know each other. The follower of Christ also knows the Father through the revelation of the Son. This is what the Kingdom is all about. [11:27]
Knowledge of God has consequences, for it demands a response. For those under the Jewish Law, knowledge of YHWH required a duty to his Law. As the teachers of God's Law, the Pharisees firmly believed that God punished the nation of Judea throughout history because the people ignored his Law. If people strove to keep his Law, they would arrive one day closer to his Kingdom. So, the Pharisees added guidelines, rulings, and regulations that kept the faithful from breaking the Law even by accident. Unfortunately, their rulings tightly controlled everyday life. [11:28]
Jesus countered this notion with the breath of fresh air. God would provide the means to people so they could please him. His Son was that means. Those who came to the Son would please the Father. Rules and regulations were not important. Relationship with Jesus was important.
Has faith become a burden, full of obligations? How can renewing a relationship with Jesus help you?
28 Come to ME everyone laboring and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Lift up (and place) MY yoke upon you and learn (as a disciple) from ME, because I am gentle and humble at heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For the yoke (I give you) is easy and MY burden (I give you) is light."
10:29 "you will find rest for yourselves" is literally "you will find rest for your spirit"
The yoke of Jesus stood for his Lordship. When someone says "yes" to Jesus, he or she placed Jesus above them. He is the Teacher. The follower became the student. But, because of his gentle compassion and his humility, the Lordship of Jesus had the weight of love, uplifting and empowering. [29-30]
How is the yoke of Jesus easy? How does following the Lord help you in life?
Jesus praised God for his revelation and its loving consequences. We, too, should thank and praise God for his Kingdom and the Lordship of his Son.
What have been some of the consequences for a closer walk with Jesus? How has he helped you live a better Christian life?