“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.” (vv. 28-30)

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 Sunday 9 July 2017

Psalm: Psalm 45


In today's passage Jesus names the elephant in the room:throughout the generations when it comes to people and leadershipwe never really know what we want! Whether it's in politics or theChurch we will call for leadership until we get some. Then we moan:"we didn't want to be led like this".

In Jesus' day the people had struggled with at the austere styleof John the Baptist with his odd fashion sense and his demandingthat they repent. But they were no more happy when Jesus'leadership style appeared to be more about getting alongsidepeople, listening to them and then quietly (or otherwise) stillchallenging them.

At the beginning ofthe chapter even John, who had been preparing the way, felt heneed to double check that Jesus was 'the promised one', the leaderthey were all looking for.

There is no doubt, when it comes to leadership, that what wereally want is a leader who will change the world, the Church, ourcountry without upsetting what we are comfortable with.

But Jesus says: "Come to me … take my yoke upon you". The yokethat Jesus refers to is nothing to do with burden of the later dayox pulling the plough. The yoke Jesus refers to is the rabbinicyoke. To take the rabbi's yoke is to take the rabbi's understandingof Scripture, which his apprentices would strive to grasp bysitting at his feet and listening for hours.

However good or bad our own lives, we all carry the burdens andimposed yokes. Jesus calls us to understand the world from hispoint of view (ie to take his yoke). For in doing so he assures usthat our burdens will be eased - and collectively as we reflect hislight the world will be changed.

Are you ready to set down your burdens? Then take hold of theyoke that our leader offers us.

To Ponder

  • What yoke have you taken from Jesus?
  • What yoke have you been given by the Church?
  • Are they the same? If not, which do you need to lay down?


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