Thursday, July 16, 2015

Yokes to Jesus

Today's Gospel extends the "great invitation" urging "weary" and "burdened" believers to "rest" with Jesus. 

This undoubtedly foreshadows Matthew's upcoming texts on Sabbath activities. Essential to understanding Jesus' invitation here is clarifying Jesus' attitude toward the Sabbath in particular, the Torah in general. 

Obviously, Jesus did not intend to abolish all Sabbath observations -- but he did intend to reinterpret the Law by finding new ways to fulfill it. Jesus sought to teach a radical understanding of the depth of the Law's spirit. The "rest" Jesus offered was not just a break from practicing every jot and tittle of Torah mandates.

Jesus says that his yoke is "easy" and his burden is "light," not because God's Law is abolished, but because Jesus shares his own unique knowledge with the new believer. This yoke is "his" because Jesus also wears it. Believers are called to join him and walk with him, not just to be loaded down with a new law while He watches. Jesus offers every generation new ways to understand, to think, and to act -- as believers who share the yoke with him.