Jesus Thanks His Father
A reflection by Rev Ajay Singh
Matthew 11 : 25‑30 NRSV
As we read the Gospel of Matthew 11 : 25‑30 we learn how Jesus thanks His Father and reveals His authority to the people of the world. He invites us to carry His yoke, which is light and easier, because He is with us.
There are two parts to this passage:
In the first part Jesus thanks God for the authority of the world given to Him. He praises His Father for the unexpected way in which the wisdom of God is revealed to the weak and powerless, rather than the mighty or learned.
In the second part Jesus invites those who are lost in faith of unbelief to give them rest.
In this context ‘rest’ means the opportunity to enjoy the perfect unshakable confidence of salvation in our Lord, in this life as well as in the life to come. When we rest in God we have absolute trust and confidence in his power, meaning there is no reason to fear any situation or any person.
Actually, Jesus’ statement here is not an invitation to receive salvation. It is an invitation to discipleship. In other words, Jesus is asking those people who are already saved to become his disciples.
Being saved does not make us disciples. To be saved, we only have to believe and repent. According to Matthew 28 : 19, being a disciple means doing everything that Jesus taught us to do. It has a cost, and we have to prepare to pay the cost. The Gospels indicate that not everyone who believed were disciples.
According to the Gospel of Matthew 23 : 4 the weary and the burdened are actually God’s own people that were burdened with the oral tradition of the Pharisees throughout the centuries; not the unsaved or the working class. The ‘yoke’ (a yoke consisted of a wooden crossbar laid across the necks of a team of oxen and attached with leather straps) is a metaphor used to describe the discipline of discipleship.
Although most of the people in faith are not burdened and worn out by religious formalities today, they live in a world whose only religion is money, power and sex. (The world looks for everlasting rest in these). These things do give you a sense of rest but it is not real and does not last long. Being a faithful disciple of Jesus and living in this world is not easy because, often, its religion challenges our Christian faith and lifestyle every day and pressures us into becoming its disciples. But Jesus said his yoke is light and easier because he is an ever-present help in times of temptation to compromise.
I do personally feel, looking at my journey so far, that whatever I do in this ministry I could not have done without God’s help. The Holy Spirit leads me through my prayers and shows me the path to go along with God’s will.
May God bless you as we acknowledge His grace, thanking him for everything He does through us. Moreover, through Jesus, the instruction to carry His yoke is passed on. Therefore, may God be our strength for us to carry His yoke and to thank Him as Jesus did.
Rev Ajay Singh