The wisdom of Jesus is generous, eternal, extraordinary, kind, powerful.
Are you tired, anxious, too busy, overwhelmed? Welcome to Radical and Relevant, where we are exploring the enduring wisdom of Jesus' teachings. In today's scripture, from the 11th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, we experience the beautiful and paradoxical fruits that come from walking with Jesus. And Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Jesus knows that life can be tiring and burdensome. The word today is rest.
It is clear from this very short reading that Jesus understands our need and has tremendous compassion for the human condition. He invites us to rest in today's gospel. The idea that strikes me today is how unaware we are of our own condition. We rarely stop to recognize how weary we really are and keep rushing ahead without any time for rest. But if we won't admit that we are weighed down by the daily pressures of this life, we can't accept the rest that Jesus offers. The rest that Jesus offers is not just a vacation or temporary relaxation. The rest that Jesus offers is a way of life. The virtue of the day is surrender.
Surrender is the difference between the life Jesus invites us to and our lives as they are today. We want to do what we want to do. But being a Christian means setting that aside and carrying out the mission Jesus assigns. We live this restful life by working with Jesus, that is by taking His yoke upon us. The yoke is a symbol of shared work. To take Jesus' yoke upon us means walking with Jesus and aligning our lives with His teachings and example. We'll still be working, but our burdens will be transformed. We'll no longer carry our fears, ambitions, and loneliness on our backs all alone. Instead, we'll be carrying the love and self-sacrifice of Jesus.
And He'll be carrying this love and self-sacrifice with us so that our yoke truly will be easy and our burden truly will be light. Consider the phrase: "My yoke is easy and my burden light." When my life feels burdensome and difficult, if I'm honest with myself, I discover I am trying to push my own agenda rather than surrendering to what God is asking me to do. Who doesn't need to hear this message? The gospel of Jesus Christ is as radical and relevant today as ever before. Go out into the world today and astonish people with your willingness to surrender to the will of God. And remember, don't just be yourself, be the very best version of yourself.
Thank you, Ambassadors. You are changing the world. Have a great day. Bye-bye. Simon, come sit.
I love you. Have a great day!