Sunday, July 6, 2014

Learn from me

Early morning sky on this Fourth of July weekend.
Reflecting on Matthew 11:28-30.  The religious leaders at the time of Jesus counted 613 commandments that had to be observed to the letter.  They referred to this obligation as "the yoke of the Law."  Just as oxen worked and strained under a heavy yoke, the religious leaders expected the people to live their lives under the heavy yoke of the Law.
In some of the sweetest words in any of the Gospels, Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves, for my yoke is easy and my burden light."  Jesus is telling the people not to take onto themselves the heavy yoke of  the Law.  He says to them and to us , "Just learn from me.  Notice how humble and gentle I am with people, how loving and caring I am.  Behave like  me and you will be doing the right thing."
This is almost effortless behavior.  We don't look at his gentle, loving ways and make an effort to be like him.  Because Jesus lives in us, he can share with us his goodness, his sense of the right thing to do.  All we have to do is surrender.  Sounds too good to be true.  This is a freedom even greater than the freedom that we declared in 1776.

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