Matthew 11:28-30; The Yoke

These verses are underlined in all my Bibles. Who can’t get onboard with the idea of rest for the weariness we all experience?

I suppose that we usually read these verses as a stand-alone aphorism. Reading them in context does not diminish the joy of reading them. But it might shift the meaning, if not the application, a bit.

We think we experience weariness, but I imagine our experience is minimal compared to the average first century Jew Jesus was talking to. As we learned yesterday, he wasn’t really appealing to the power brokers. He was with the people. Life was not easy.

In addition to that, I believe Jesus is referring to the burden of the Law. The Pharisees had really distorted the Law. God’s Law is good, but it can be turned into a burden. The material just ahead will give us some examples.

And the people of Israel were a weary people because the were truthfully still in exile. They have a history of weariness.

Jesus is offering a different way. We know it isn’t an easy way, but it is a more comfortable way. Learning from Jesus is a better way. There is a lot less chafing.

Jesus quotes from Jeremiah, on of the prophets of the Exile, and offers “rest for your souls”. That sounds a lot like the shalom that people wanted. Sounds good to me.

I’ll take that yoke. As Dylan sang, “You gotta serve somebody”. I will serve Jesus.

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