Friday, January 20, 2017

Fresh Studies in Matthew, Matthew 11:25-end of chapter


These verses bring up the question, what is the relationship between the members of the Trinity/Godhead and what do they know?  Jesus said the date of his return is known only the Father (although that may be historical rather than eternal time—in other words, at that particular moment Jesus had been limited from knowing, but not in eternity).  However, he also says that “all things are entrusted to the Son, which is echoed in other places, such as in Paul’s writing, specifically in Colossians 1 and 2.  The passage implies a coice by God as to who get the revelation.
The “come to me” verses—some of my favorites! In this context it is an assertion or claim to power, not just a nice “feel good” promise.  After saying that the offer of the gospel is closed to those who are not chosen to have it revealed to them, Jesus offers it to all.  In the wider context, we are looking at judgment on cities in that region that have had the blessing of revelation of the Son and have rejected it.  They have received “grace for grace” and turned their backs, incurring more judgment than the proverbial cities of evil. 
These verses bring up the question, what is the relationship between the members of the Trinity/Godhead and what do they know?  Jesus said the date of his return is known only the Father (although that may be historical rather than eternal time—in other words, at that particular moment Jesus had been limited from knowing, but not in eternity).  However, he also says that “all things are entrusted to the Son, which is echoed in other places, such as in Paul’s writing, specifically in Colossians 1 and 2.  The passage implies a coice by God as to who get the revelation.
The “come to me” verses—some of my favorites! In this context it is an assertion or claim to power, not just a nice “feel good” promise.  After saying that the offer of the gospel is closed to those who are not chosen to have it revealed to them, Jesus offers it to all.  In the wider context, we are looking at judgment on cities in that region that have had the blessing of revelation of the Son and have rejected it.  They have received “grace for grace” and turned their backs, incurring more judgment than the proverbial cities of evil. 
Matthew 11:28 starts, "Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you."  Now, we don’t want a yoke, even if it is from the person most deserving of placing it on us—and he asks us to choose the yoke.  We’ve already got yokes on us—forms of bondage.  That’s what we moderns don’t want to admit  We’ve got more than one yoke on us, and Jesus just asks us to take on his light one.  It is a yoke that gives us rest.  Not sleep, but rest. 
Rest is an amazing concept in the Bible, tied into the Sabbath (which Jesus is Lord of), our health, our liberation, our community, our sense of self.  We are striving so hard to prove something, to, like Rocky in the movie, to prove we are not bums; like Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire, “I have ten seconds to justify my existence.”  And Eric Lidell put his commitment above his need to get a medal (which he surely would have won) because he rested, not just on the principle of the Sabbath but on the Lord of Sabbath rest.  (These are from a Tim Keller podcast today).
I don’t need sleep; I need rest.  Our whole society does.  Although I get tired of the comparisons to Scandinavia about their having six-hour work days (they have to in the winter—everybody is depressed from the lack of sunlight), they do seem to be saying to us, “Americans, what is the hurry?  What’s up with 60-hour work weeks?” (to which I have not been a stranger in 2016).
(My DNA test from one of those companies said I was 3/8 Scandinavian, which I can believe but am glad to live in warmer climes and longer daylight hours).

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