10 09 2009

Learning from the Lord shouldn’t be complicated.

Jesus indicates in Matthew 11:25 that the mysteries of the Truth have been hidden from the wise and learned and given through revelation to children [a theme repeated in Matthew 18:3 when Jesus calls a child to Him and proclaims that only those who are humble like a child will enter the kingdom of heaven].

He again mentions [Matt. 11:27] that knowledge of God is given by revelation to those chosen by the Son. In 1 Cor. 2:12 Paul wrote that “we have received…the Spirit whom is from God, that we may understand [spirit of revelation] what God has freely given us.” James 1:5 says, “If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him.”

Matt. 11: 28-30 says, “Come, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus invites everyone who is weary and burdened to find rest under his “yoke.” Several cultural wordplays appear in this passage. In Biblical times the yoke was used to join two animals together for labor purposes, typically fieldwork. So, the “burden” terminology makes sense. But “yoke” was also a term for the teachings and scriptural interpretation of a particular rabbi.

Those who wanted to become a “disciple” or “learner” of the rabbi were said to have “taken his yoke upon themselves”– adopting the rabbi’s teachings and interpretations. These “yokes” tended to be convoluted and extensive.

The implication of the passage seems to be, then, that the complicated teachings of the rabbis of Jesus’ day were a burden and that Jesus is inviting everyone to embrace the rest He offers through simple, yet profound, teachings.

Why is learning from God so difficult at times, when it’s supposed to be so simple? Yes, sometimes simple tasks can be difficult. But I think the issue runs deeper.

We need humility. Child-like acceptance. A willingness to sit and listen instead of pretending life is under our control.

Maybe we are the reason we can find learning so difficult. Maybe if we can forsake our self-righteous pride and accept the wisdom and understanding Christ freely offers, we would not find learning from Him so difficult after all.




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