Welcome to day 11 in our reading of God’s word. Today we read about John the Baptist being in prison and sending his disciples to confirm that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus responds and says some uplifting words about John. Jesus talks about unresponsive people to the gospel and that he provides rest for the weary.
Opposition against Jesus began to grow as Jesus prophesied in chapter 10. Even John the Baptist had some misunderstanding. At first the opposition is implicit; later it will be explicit.
11:1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.NIV This verse forms a transition from chapter 10. Jesus finished instructing his twelve disciples (for the time being) and went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. The constant separation between “teach” and “preach” in Matthew may prepare for didache (instruction) and kerygma (proclamation) in the early church.
Mark’s Gospel describes the sending out and return of the disciples (following Jesus’ instructions outlined in the previous chapter). Matthew, however, maintains his focus on Jesus’ ministry and teaching.
11:2-3 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”NIV King Herod, also known as Herod Antipas, had imprisoned John the Baptist (4:12). Herod Antipas was known for his insensitivity and debauchery. He had married his own sister-in-law, and John the Baptist had publicly rebuked Herod’s blatant sin (more on this incident in 14:1-12).
While John sat in prison, word came to him about what Christ was doing. John the Baptist had his own disciples who apparently remained close to him during his imprisonment. They brought news of Jesus’ activities, most likely those deeds that reflected that he was the Messiah (such as those described in chapters 8 and 9).
|This caused John to wonder, so he sent his disciples back to Jesus with a question, Are you the one who was to come? John was referring to the promised Messiah. This statement provides a glimpse of John’s human side. He had baptized Jesus, had seen the heavens open, and had heard the voice of God (3:13-17), yet he was experiencing periods of doubt and questioning.||The first step back from doubt to faith is to bring one’s plight to the Lord Jesus Himself. It is no sin to ask a question if our heart attitude is right.
V. Raymond Edman
Perhaps John was wondering why Jesus brought blessing but little judgment, for John had preached that Jesus would baptize with fire and separate the “wheat” from the “chaff” (3:11-12). Jesus’ peaceful teaching and healing ministry may not have seemed to measure up. Perhaps John was wondering about the veiled terms in which Jesus was giving his teachings.
Whatever the reason, John’s question functions as a conclusion to all that has happened so far in this Gospel, summarizing the necessary reaction to Jesus’ deeds and the mission of his disciples. It was not John’s question alone; the question highlights what every person must decide when he or she encounters Jesus. Matthew used the name “Christ” to show his readers that while John may have doubted, Jesus was unmistakably showing that he was indeed “the one who was to come.”
|LIFE APPLICATION – HONEST QUESTIONS|
|Never be embarrassed when asking a sincere question. And never make anyone else feel ashamed to ask one. Even John the Baptist, God’s special messenger, had questions. To live is to discover, and no one learns without raising questions. Good questions indicate good listening.|
|Wonder about something the pastor said on Sunday? Ask. Wonder about something you read in Matthew’s Gospel? Ask. How does faith relate to the problems you face this week? Keep asking until you make some solid discoveries.|
11:4-6 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”NRSV Jesus answered John’s doubts by telling John’s disciples to go and tell John what you hear and see. Jesus pointed to his acts of healing the blind, lame, deaf, and leprous, raising the dead, and preaching the Good News to the poor. With so much evidence, Jesus’ identity should have been obvious—Jesus expected his courageous forerunner to come to the correct conclusion. These words reflect Isaiah 35:5-6, Isaiah’s prophecy of the final kingdom. The Messiah’s arrival was the first phase of this coming kingdom. Jesus fulfilled these words even though Matthew had not yet recorded any healings of lame or deaf people, and Matthew added the cleansing of lepers and raising of dead people to Isaiah’s list. That the poor have good news brought to them reflects Isaiah 61:1. “The poor” are the small group of faithful followers, the oppressed and afflicted, who respond to the Good News. They are blessed because they take no offense at Jesus, willingly accepting him as the promised Messiah.
Many Jews, however, did take offense at Jesus. Some versions say “cause to stumble,” referring to Jews “stumbling” over Jesus because he did not meet their messianic expectations. While Jesus’ words and deeds were worthy of the Messiah, he did not meet the Jewish leaders’ political and nationalistic interpretations of him. So Jesus warned John and all the Jews not to allow their expectations to drive a wedge between them.
11:7-8 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.”NRSV As John’s disciples left with Jesus’ message, Jesus took the opportunity to address the crowds. He asked three questions and gave three answers. John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness, and people went out to listen to him (3:1, 5). Jesus asked if the people had gone into the wilderness to see a reed shaken by the wind. A “reed” is the canelike grass that grows on the banks of the Jordan River. To compare a person to a reed was to say that the person was without moral fiber or courage, easily tossed about by various opinions, never taking a stand on anything. Obviously, they did not go to see a “reed”—John’s fiery preaching was anything but that. The people who went out to see him had been attracted by the opposite quality.
Second, Jesus asked if they had gone out to see someone dressed in soft robes. Obviously, John’s rough attire (clothes made of camel’s hair, 3:4) hardly qualified as “soft robes.” If the people wanted to go look at someone dressed like that, they should go to the royal palaces (such as King Herod occupied), not to the wilderness. The people who went out to see John appreciated his prophetic power.
11:9-10 “Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'”NIV In this third question, Jesus asked if the people had gone out into the wilderness to see a prophet. That was, in fact, true—they had. The people knew that John’s appearance meant that something new was about to happen; many believed the age of the Messiah had come. They went out to see a prophet and had seen one; in fact, they had seen, Jesus said, more than a prophet. Jesus described John as “more” because he had inaugurated the messianic age and had announced the coming kingdom of God (see also 3:3). More than being a prophet, John had been the subject of prophecy, fulfilling Malachi 3:1 (and Exodus 23:20 in the Septuagint). Jesus changed the words “before me” to “before you” so the wording refers to Jesus as the Messiah.
11:11 “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”NRSV The words “truly I tell you” indicate that Jesus was about to say something of supreme importance. The words “no one has arisen” use Old Testament language for the coming of a prophet. John the Baptist’s role as forerunner of the Messiah put him in a position of great privilege, described as “more than a prophet” (11:9) with no one . . . greater. No man ever fulfilled his God-given purpose better than John. Yet in God’s coming kingdom, all members will have a greater spiritual heritage than John because they will have seen and known Christ and his finished work on the cross. The least in the kingdom of heaven are those of the faithful followers who participate in the kingdom. John would die before Jesus would die and rise again to inaugurate his kingdom. Jesus’ followers, because they will witness the kingdom’s reality, will have privilege and place greater than John’s.
11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”NRSV There are several views about the meaning of this verse. The interpretation hinges on the meaning of biazetai, “suffered violence” and biastai “the violent.” The niv gives this verse a more positive meaning by understanding biazetai to be in the middle voice rather than in the passive—thus, the rendering, “the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” This would mean that entering God’s kingdom takes aggressive, assertive action. The nrsv takes the verb as passive, indicating that the kingdom has suffered violence. This means that evil, violent forces have worked against the kingdom. Some have suggested that Jesus’ words had a temporal meaning, that they referred to Herod’s opposition to John as well as to the Jewish opponents of John and Jesus. Others interpret the entire phrase timelessly in reference to the word “kingdom,” implying the antagonism of satanic forces or the attempts of Jewish zealots to force the coming of the kingdom by overthrowing Rome. Most likely, this is a reference to Jesus’ opponents. Jesus was explaining that as his kingdom advanced, attacks against it by violent people would increase. He referred not to just one type of opposition, but to opposition in general. John the Baptist, as herald of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven, was already experiencing the “forcefulness” of evil men (Herod) against God’s kingdom. The conflict had begun.
11:13-15 “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear.”NIV All the Prophets and the Law had prophesied about the coming of God’s kingdom. The Jews called the Old Testament by its three main sections—the Prophets, the Law, and the Writings. In reality, all three point to Jesus’ coming (see 5:17-20). John fulfilled prophecy, for he himself was the Elijah who was to come, prophesied in Malachi 4:5. John was not a resurrected Elijah, but he took on Elijah’s prophetic role—boldly confronting sin and pointing people to God (Malachi 3:1). Jesus understood how difficult it was for the people to grasp all that they were seeing and hearing, for he said, “If you are willing to accept it.” Indeed, many would be unwilling. Only those who had ears would be able to truly hear what Jesus meant by the words he said. Only those with the desire of true disciples could truly understand Jesus’ words. He spoke in words that could easily put off the halfhearted follower. These were important words that could be easily misunderstood (see also 13:9, 43; 24:15).
|LIFE APPLICATION – REALLY LISTENING|
|Jesus said that those who have ears should “hear.” Sometimes you can hear words, even understand words, and still not get the message. That often happened to the Pharisees, who knew the Bible better than anyone but didn’t really know it at all. Great listening requires|
|Understanding the context of a message. Words taken out of context are often misunderstood. Learn as much as you can about the whole situation.|
|Understanding the messenger. Who’s talking? What’s his or her credibility? What are the biases and presuppositions? Is the messenger trustworthy?|
|What’s the purpose of the message? “I have a dream” can be a stirring call to social justice or an appeal for help on a psychiatrist’s couch. What are the words doing to people?|
|Much of Jesus’ ministry was helping people listen better—to the Old Testament prophets and to God himself speaking through Jesus. Listen carefully!|
11:16-19 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.'”NKJV The phrase “to what shall I liken” was a common rabbinic introduction to a metaphor. Matthew used the word generation for Jews who rejected both John the Baptist and Jesus. Jesus condemned the attitude of his generation. No matter what he said or did, they took the opposite view. They were cynical and skeptical because he challenged their comfortable, secure, and self-centered lives. Jesus compared them to children sitting in the marketplaces, playing games in the public square where the city’s business was conducted. These games may copy the adults (such as playing instruments for a wedding or mourning at a funeral procession). The thrust is that some of the children called out to others to join them, but their companions ignored their invitation and went on playing their own games. Jesus’ generation, like the children in the square, was unresponsive to the calls issued by John the Baptist and by Jesus. Jesus continued: “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'”NRSV The one “mourning” refers to John the Baptist, who brought the message of confession and repentance to avoid the wrath of God. He came neither eating nor drinking, yet that did not satisfy the Jews. John was an ascetic; he did not seek out social occasions. They assumed that he had a demon (or was merely deranged). In contrast, the one “playing the flute” referred to Jesus (here he called himself Son of Man), who came eating and drinking. He joined in social occasions, and his diet was like other people’s. But that did not satisfy the Jews either. They simply labeled him as a glutton and a drunkard who hung out with the lowest sort of people. Many of the Jews in Jesus’ generation, including most of the religious establishment, simply refused to listen and went about their own “games.”
“Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”NRSV This is God’s wisdom, personified as a woman (her deeds). (See also Proverbs 1:20; 4:6; 7:4; 8:1 for more verses personifying wisdom.) God’s wisdom is seen in Jesus’ deeds. People could see the kingdom’s power through Jesus’ miracles. These miracles vindicated (justified) Jesus’ teaching. People might reject both the miracles and the teaching, but that will not change their truth nor will it hinder the kingdom’s arrival.
|LIFE APPLICATION- THE BEST APOLOGETICS|
|The truth of Jesus’ words were vindicated by miracles, both the healings and the transformed lives of his followers. “Apologetics” is the discipline of setting out proofs for biblical truth. Why do we believe? People who “do apologetics” help us with that question.|
|Here, however, Jesus surprises us. The best proof that his words are true: It’s you! Your life changed from the inside out by Jesus’ power is the best evidence to a skeptical world that Jesus speaks the truth.|
|It’s a big responsibility, but go easy on yourself. Being a “perfect” person is impossible and self-defeating. Instead, just let Jesus work inside your heart and mind. The changes he brings will speak volumes to a watching world.|
JESUS PROMISES REST FOR THE SOUL / 11:20-30
11:20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.NIV Matthew’s thematic structure places Jesus’ denunciation of these cities immediately after he had spoken of being rejected by his own people (11:16-19). In Luke, these words are part of the mission discourse to the seventy-two disciples (Luke 10:13-16); Matthew used them to illustrate the rejection of the multitudes. The cities Jesus denounced were those in which most of his miracles had been performed. Because his words were vindicated by his deeds (11:19), those people should have been eager to repent and believe. Instead, they rejected Jesus, the Messiah. Many had followed Jesus and had eagerly come to him to be healed or to watch him heal, but few had repented and believed in him as the “one who was to come” (11:3).
11:21-22 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.”NIV For their unbelief, the unrepentant cities would receive judgment, and “woe” is an expression of grief or regret. The people of Korazin (also spelled “Chorazin”) and Bethsaida had seen Jesus firsthand (both cities were in Galilee); yet they stubbornly refused to repent of their sins and believe in him. Matthew recorded no miracles in either of these cities although, obviously, Jesus had done miracles there. The Gospel writers were necessarily selective in what they recorded. As John wrote at the end of his Gospel, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25 niv).
Tyre and Sidon were ancient Phoenician cities with a long-standing reputation for wickedness (Isaiah 23; Ezekiel 27-28; Amos 1:9-10). God destroyed each city for its opposition to his people and for its wickedness as a center of Baal worship. (Destruction for Sidon had come at the hands of the Assyrians in 67 b.c.; for Tyre it had come at the hands of Alexander the Great who had built a causeway out to the island fortress and had destroyed it in 332 b.c.) Herod the Great partially restored Tyre. Citizens from there may well have heard these very words of Jesus.
Jesus said, however, that if he had performed the same miracles in those wicked cities, the people would have repented . . . in sackcloth and ashes. “Sackcloth and ashes” were symbols of humiliation, grief for sin, and repentance. Sackcloth was a cheap cloth made of camel or cattle hair, worn under or in place of garments during times of grief. For extreme grief, a person might also wear ashes on his or her head, or sit and wallow in ashes. Such would have been the display of repentance in these evil cities.
Because Korazin and Bethsaida had rejected Jesus, they would suffer even greater punishment than that of the wicked cities who did not see him. Those people had less opportunity to believe; therefore, they would be accountable for less. The day of judgment would be more bearable for them. Similarly, nations and cities with churches on every corner and Bibles in every home will have no excuse on Judgment Day if they do not repent and believe.
11:23-24 “And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.”NRSV Jesus singled out the city of Capernaum for special denunciation. Jesus had made his home in this city (4:12-13) and had performed countless miracles there (8:5-17; 9:2-8, 18-33; Mark 1:23-28). But would it be exalted to heaven for that reason? No, Jesus said, in fact, just the opposite. Instead of being “exalted,” it would be “brought down.” Instead of “heaven,” it would experience “Hades.” These words allude to one of Isaiah’s prophecies against Babylon (Isaiah 14:13-15). The word “Hades” is used in the Septuagint (Greek version of the Hebrew Old Testament) for “Sheol,” which is the Old Testament word for the grave, the abode of the dead. Here Jesus used it in a general sense for God’s judgment.
As in 11:21-22 above, Jesus was comparing a city that he personally had visited (in this case, had lived in) with one of the most evil cities in the Old Testament. Indeed, if the city of Sodom had seen Jesus’ deeds of power, Sodom would have remained until this day. God had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their extreme wickedness (Genesis 18-19). Jesus implied that the city would have repented of its sin and therefore would not have been destroyed by God. Sodom and Gomorrah were already mentioned in 10:15 as being better off on the Day of Judgment than those cities who would refuse the disciples’ message. Even Capernaum itself would be worse off than the worst of the Old Testament cities, simply because it was the home of the Messiah. Its people had seen Jesus, and they had rejected him.
|LIFE APPLICATION – CLOSE TO HOME|
|Capernaum, Jesus’ adult hometown, should, of all cities, have been keen to see the truth of God’s Good News. But it wasn’t. And on Judgment Day, a person will be happier to be from Sodom than from Capernaum.|
|How disastrous when those closest to truth turn away! Some churches do that when they move from faith to doubt, from a focus on Jesus to a focus on everything but Jesus. When selecting a church, look beyond the architecture, the greeting committees, and the nursery facilities. Is Jesus at the heart of it?|
11:25-26 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”NIV Jesus’ response to his rejection, however, was to praise his Father. “Praise” is a strong term for worship, signifying acceptance and thanksgiving for God’s act. The word for “Father” is the Aramaic Abba, signifying close relationship. “Lord of heaven and earth” is a Jewish title for God, stressing his lordship of the universe.
For what did Jesus praise the Father? He praised God for hiding the significance of his words and miracles from the wise and learned (that is, those arrogant in their own knowledge) and for revealing these to little children (those humbly open to receive the truth of God’s Word, a euphemism for his disciples). While this contrasted all self-sufficient and proud people with the humble, it was also a contrast between the self-righteous religious leaders and the humble and unlearned disciples. That God had revealed himself in this way was not an accident; it was his good pleasure. Spiritual understanding is not dependent on status, race, or education—it is God’s gift. (See also Isaiah 29:14; 1 Corinthians 1:19-20; James 4:6.) God is sovereign. He also hides and reveals as he chooses. Jesus delighted in this—what pleased the Father pleased the Son (as Jesus clearly stated in the next verse).
11:27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”NIV Jesus clearly stated his relationship to the Father of whom he spoke in 11:25. He made three unmistakable claims to special relationship with God:
- All things have been committed to me by my Father. These words explain shared knowledge. There are no secrets between Father and Son and never have been. The present perfect tense of “have been committed” indicates that this has been the case from eternity past into eternity future. Jesus is the only source of the revelation that is hidden or revealed (11:25-26).
- No one knows the Son except the Father. In the Old Testament, “know” means more than knowledge; it implies an intimate relationship. The communion between God the Father and God the Son is the core of their relationship. Jesus claimed an intimate relationship that no one else can ever have. Those who make Jesus out to be nothing more than a great teacher have ignored such statements as this, statements that force us to a decision as to whether Jesus really is who he claimed to be.
- No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. For anyone else to know God, God must reveal himself to that person, by the Son’s choice. How fortunate we are that Jesus has clearly revealed to us God, his truth, and how we can know him. People can only approach God through Jesus—he truly is the only way (John 14:6). That Jesus praised the Father for making this choice (11:26) and then explained that the Father had given the Son this authority again emphasizes Jesus’ true identity.
11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”NKJV While those wise and learned in their own eyes are blinded to the truth (11:25-26), Jesus invites those who labor and are heavy laden. The “wise and learned” Pharisees had placed so many rules and regulations on the people that religion had become like “labor,” and a life of devotion to the law had become a burden to carry (see 23:1-4). But Jesus invited the “little ones,” true disciples with eyes open to see the truth, to come to him and find relief from these labors. Jesus was clearly admonishing them to abandon Pharisaic legalism and join him.
Jesus’ gracious invitation extends to all. No one is omitted or neglected. All we must do is acknowledge our need and come to him. Jesus frees people from these burdens.
|The rest that Jesus gives equals eternal life (Hebrews 4:9) and brings love, healing, and peace with God, not the cessation of work, effort, worship, or service. To the Jews, rest reminded them of the Promised Land given to their ancestors. Jesus applied the word “rest” to himself spiritually, “I will give you rest, I will refresh you.” (see Jeremiah 31:25).||Ah, downcast soul, who art writing hard things of thyself, it may be that thy merciful Lord is viewing thy life more accurately and estimating it more lovingly than thou knowest!
F. B. Meyer
Those who follow Christ will find refreshment in their renewed relationship with him, freedom from guilt over sin, deliverance from fear and despair, and the promise of continued help and guidance from the Holy Spirit. (See Hebrews 3-4 for more on the New Testament view of rest.)
|LIFE APPLICATION – ONLY JESUS|
|“Pluralism” is a recent trend that seeks to promote respect for all points of view, all faiths, all ethnic traditions.|
|On the one hand, Christians should respect and care for all people, regardless of differences. There is no holy excuse for nastiness or prejudice.|
|But, on the other hand, Jesus alone is the world’s Savior. There is no other. You cannot worship a hundred gods, or two—there’s only one! Put all your trust in Jesus. Depend on him alone.|
11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”NKJV A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen. It is attached to a piece of equipment that the oxen are to pull. Since Jesus was a carpenter and since carpenters in those days produced and repaired farm equipment, Jesus was quite familiar with yokes.
The Law was a “yoke” that was considered hard to bear (as Peter noted in Acts 15:10). Jesus used the familiar phrasing used of the law as an invitation to discipleship. “Take off the burdensome yoke of the Pharisee-styled law,” Jesus said, “and take My yoke upon you.” Following Jesus would not be a free ride; Jesus had already described the persecution and rejection his followers could expect (10:17-42). They were not free from all constraints; they would carry a yoke, but it would be easy and light. Again, this did not belittle the importance or difficulty of carrying out his mission; indeed, Jesus asked for more than mere obedience to the law. Discipleship required extraordinary effort. These words focused on Jesus’ care and concern for his followers, his promise of guidance and presence (28:20), and the ultimate future rewards. The efforts of Jesus’ followers would not result in dead-end toil or drudgery or in frustrating cycles of guilt and depression from trying to please God by being good enough. Jesus’ yoke would result in fruitful service. Jesus had God’s ultimate authority (11:27), and he was calling them to him. These images come from Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah (see Isaiah 42:2-3; 53:1-2; Zechariah 9:9). He would not be an unkind taskmaster; instead, he would bring rest to the souls of his followers (quoted from Jeremiah 6:16).
Jesus said, “Learn from Me.” Jesus, their leader and example, was also the ultimate servant, gentle and lowly in heart. His path of humble service is the pattern for us to follow. So much of our fatigue and burdensome toil stems from pride. If we are successful, our egos are inflated and we try for more. If we falter, the rejection of others and our self-condemnation weigh us down in guilt and self-doubt. It is much more freeing to take Christ’s attitude of serving others.
|LIFE APPLICATION – EASY DOES IT!|
|Responsibilities weigh us down, even the job of staying true to God. It’s a tough grind, and you’re tired. You may be trying hard and still falling short of the mark. Jesus says, “My yoke is easy.”|
|Jesus doesn’t offer you a lawn chair and soda—the yoke is still an oxen’s tool for working hard. But it’s a special kind of yoke, with weight falling on bigger shoulders than yours. Someone with more pulling power is up front helping. Suddenly you’re sharing life’s responsibilities with a great Partner—and now that frown is turning into a smile, and that gripe into a song.|
Source: Life Application Bible Commentary – Matthew.