(Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30)
By Rev. Dr. Sergio Arevalo, Jr.
July 06, 2014 (4th Sunday after Pentecost)
In the Christian community, cross is very popular. It was the symbol of the yoke of Christ when he saved us from our sins. The cross was used by the Jews and the Romans to punish Jesus.
The yoke of Christ was offered to people. At first John the Baptist brought that to them, and afterwards Jesus brought it to them, too. However, they just criticized them. Jesus says, “Because John didn’t come eating or drinking, yet people say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Absolved from every act of sin, is wisdom by her kith and kin.” (Mt.11:18-19).
Jesus said in Mathew 11:16-19,“To what can I compare the people living today? They’re like little children who sit in the marketplaces and shout to each other, ‘A wedding song we played for you, the dance you simply scorned. A woeful dirge we chanted, too, but then you would not mourn.’ Because John didn’t come eating or drinking, yet people say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Absolved from every act of sin, is wisdom by her kith and kin.”
Jesus shows in this passage how confused the people in his time. In Tagalog saying, “Sala sa lamig, sala sa init” (They don’t know whether they like it cold or hot.). It shows only the confusion of people. “We piped unto you, and ye did not dance; we wailed, and ye did not mourn” (v.17).
Harry Truman enjoyed telling about the man who was hit on the head at work. The blow was so severe he was knocked unconscious for an extended period of time.
His family, convinced he was dead, called the funeral home and asked the local undertaker to pick him up at the hospital, which he did.
Early the following morning this dear man suddenly awoke and sat straight up in the casket.
Confused, he blinked several times and looked around, trying to put the whole thing together. He thought, “If I’m alive, what in the world am I doing in this soft, satin-filled box? And if I’m dead, why do I have to go to the bathroom?” (sermonillustrations.com).
Confusion visits us most of the times. Some people decide even when they are confused. Sometimes we do cling our beliefs in confusion. Confusion arises when we have problems, and challenges in life. Some of us may say, our cross is so heavy to carry. Some of us want to exchange our cross to somebody’s cross.
II. Simple People Get Wisdom (Mt. 11:25).
Jesus said to his Father, “You concealed these things from the wise and discerning, and uncovered them to simple ones” (v.25, Apostolic Bible). God shows the wisdom to simple ones (ABP), to babes (KJV, RSV, ASV), to infants (ISV). The Greek word Nepios means figuratively “a simple minded person.”
When carrying the cross we don’t need to get confused or act like wise and intelligent. Don’t ask, what kind of cross should I carry? Is it customized? Is it hard to carry? Can I study on how to carry it? We don’t need much intelligence to carry the cross. Just carry it. Just carry it wherever you are. Just carry it every moment. So in doing that the wisdom coming from the Lord is grasped in following Jesus.
Simple people seems more open minded and wise than those who are intelligent in this world.
Let’s try to understand it. Swimming cannot be learned by just attending the classroom, just watching and listening to lectures about swimming. Swimming is learned through swimming. Go to the waters and swim!
III. Suffering People Shall Bear Yoke (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls, because my yoke is pleasant, and my burden is light.”
Every human being has a yoke, has burden in life. We have yoke of sins, bad habits, laziness, indifference, loneliness, lack of money, lack of jobs—these are some of our yokes. Even non-Christians have these kinds of yokes. Every human being is suffering from these yokes.
Jesus is challenging us to exchange our yokes to his yoke, and he said his yoke is pleasant and light. What is the yoke of Christ? It is the yoke of forgiveness, yoke of joy, yoke of abundance, and yoke of service.
People are suffering from carrying their own yokes simply because they don’t exchange their yokes with Jesus’ yoke. They believe that Jesus’ yoke is heavier than their yokes, but Jesus is right, his yoke is pleasant and light. You know why? Because Jesus is helping us to carry it. Your yoke is heavy because you alone is carrying it. Let’s exchange our yoke with Jesus’ yoke since we will carry it with him.
Renato felt that he lived very hard. He came to God, told him about his troubles, and asked: “Can I choose another cross for myself?”
God looked at him smiling, took him to the storage of crosses and said: “Let’s choose.”
Renato came into the storage, looked around, and was surprised. There is just a variety of crosses – little, big, medium, heavy and light.
Renato was walking by the storage for a long time looking for the littlest and lightest cross, and finally found it, then came to God and asked: “May I take this one?”
“Yes, you may,” answered God. “It is your own original cross anyways.”
Renato replied, “What? Is this the same cross that I wanted to exchange with a light cross in this storage?”
God answered, “Yes, my son.”
“Before I came to you I carried it, and it was so heavy for me that’s why I wanted to exchange it with another cross here. Now it is the same cross, but it seems easy and light to carry now. What’s going on?” Renato asked.
“My son, before you came to me you carried it alone, Now that you came to me. I help you carry it.”
Every one of us has a heavy yoke, let’s come to Jesus, and ask him to help us. For sure, he is just waiting for us.