Call to Repentance and Rest
Today’s reading: Matthew 10:1-12:14
My selection: Matthew 11:24-26
24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” 25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
My reflections: Many, who have only a superficial knowledge of the Bible, assume that Jesus presented a message strictly of forgiveness to all, love and peace. Here is a good example of how Jesus’ teaching included both warnings of impending judgment on the unrepentant and calls to the salvation found in Him alone. Many believe that they can come to grasp truth through their superior intellect. Here we find a call to childlike simplicity and humble repentance as the key to understanding. Many, who do not know well the Scriptures, assume that belief in Jesus rids one of all responsibility for doing good works. Here we also find, that with the call to find rest in Him, there comes a call to assume His yoke which, though not heavy and disagreeable, is still a yoke of submission to Him and of service for Him.
First, there was a warning to the cities where He had done miracles, but they had remained unmoved to repent of their sin. The people of Chorazin and Capernaum thought themselves to be better than those of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom. Jesus said they were worse for they had seen His mighty works and paid no attention. There would be a judgment, and they would be in worse state than the Gentile cities mentioned.
Second, Jesus prayed to the Father (vss. 25-26) through which we get insight into their relationship. The Father had withheld the ability to grasp the things Jesus was teaching from the “wise and understanding” but had revealed them “to little children.” Jesus’ warnings and calls to repentance were not difficult to understand. They could be embraced by children, but not by those who were too sophisticated to see the plain truth.
Who will come to the truth? Little children. Those who labor and are heavy laden. Not the proud. Not those who see themselves as wise and intellectual.
My challenge: Are you laden by sin? Are you weary of the burden of guilt which never goes away because you cannot find relief through your efforts to please God? If so, you are the kind of person Jesus calls to find rest in Him (11:28-30). You are the kind of person to whom He gives a new and light yoke to bear, a yoke that links you to Him always. Come to Him. Be joined to Him. Walk with Him.
Tomorrow’s reading: Matthew 12:15-13:46