Woes Upon the Privileged Part 3
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (Matthew 11:26)
Jesus expressed his pleasure that God chose to disclose the Gospel to the ordinary man; those who are not rich and wise by worldly standards but are poor and simple people. Again, this shows the great wisdom of God, in choosing this method, and in bringing salvation, through such a great one as Jesus was. Jesus is content to do God’s will because God’s will is the only rule of righteousness.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)
Jesus repeated this message after His resurrection and before His ascension, for it says in Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” John17:2 reveals that He has authority over all humanity, for the administration of the kingdom of grace, and that includes the power to save. There it says, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” And His power knows no limits: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” (Ephesians 1:22) The investiture of power took place at the glorification of Jesus, for it was at that time that He said, just before His ascension, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” It pleased God to give this power to Christ, and to give him the church and to give Him the kingdom:
• “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” (Colossians 1:16-19)
• “But unto the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8) Note that God calls Christ God in this verse; just another proof of the Sonship and deity of Christ.
However, the Bible tells us that there will be a time in the future, after God has judged the world and Satan has been subdued, that all power will be returned to God, because it says in 1 Corinthians 15:28, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28) I don’t comprehend all of this, because it involves the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the great wisdom of God, so I accept it because it is in God’s word, and give glory to God for His great plan that placed salvation in Christ and all things under His control.
Christ is the revelation of God to man. There is no true knowledge of God, or peace of mind, except in Christ alone; for the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shines in the face of Christ. That is what we are told in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” We are indebted to Christ for all the knowledge we have of God the Father’s love and will. Ever since Adam sinned, there is no comfortable interchange between God and man, except through the Mediator. Through His claim to exclusive knowledge of God, Jesus asserts his own divinity.
God is revealed to those who know Christ, having come by faith and obedience to know God through the working of the Holy Spirit, the communication of prayer, and the revelation of God’s holy word.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Come unto me is another way of saying believe in Me. Those who come unto Him, come as sinners to discover a full, suitable and willing Savior, who can meet every need. In his gospel, John said, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
When He said, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” He is talking about those who groan under the burden of sin, the burden of ceremonial law, and the burden of tradition, and Luke reported that Jesus also said, “And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” (Luke 11:46) The Pharisees placed a dreadful burden upon the Jews, making the word of god more significant than God Himself. It was a terrible yoke, but Jesus came to free His church from these yokes, to cancel the imposition of those worldly ordinances, and to introduce a purer and more spiritual way of worship. All those who will come to Him, are invited to leave their burdens with him, and enter into rest and peace of mind.
Jesus promised, “and I will give you rest.” That is to say, rest from the terror of sin, spiritual rest, ease of mind, tranquillity of soul; all from an application of pardoning grace.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
Our Lord has just spoken on the subject of the yoke of oppressive religion and religious traditions, which are heavy burdens to carry, but there is also the yoke of sin, which a man can carry for eternity. Now He tells us to…..
“Take my yoke upon you,”-But there is something that you must do first; you must get rid of the burdens that you are tied to. You must come to Christ in faith, and allow Him to be your Savior. He has a yoke for those who believe, that is different and new. It is the yoke of a servant and disciple. As such, we follow His commands, because we love Him, not because our eternal salvation hinges upon keeping the law and following traditions.
“and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:”-Those are the characteristics of Jesus, that committed Him to God’s plan for saving men; whereby He left heaven’s glory and humbled Himself by becoming a man, and then to suffer and die in our place. When He was on earth, He was God, but without the glory of God. Here, He was the exact opposite of what He was in heaven. What a terrible price He paid to save us.
“And ye shall find rest unto your souls.” - That is to say, peace of mind now, and eternal peace with God in heaven. All men are enemies of God until they are reconciled to Him, through faith in Jesus Christ.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)
The yoke of Jesus is easy because we are tied together by love. We love Him, because He first loved us. There is no longer the threat of the destruction of our bodies and souls, if we transgress a commandment. If we sin, He is pleased if we confess our sin and ask Him for forgiveness. We no longer depend upon our righteousness, but on the righteousness of Christ.
The Scribes and Pharisees had placed a heavy burden on the Jewish people, by adding thousands of man-made laws to God’s laws, and the penalties for breaking those laws were severe. Christ, by contrast, applies a light burden, which may at first be difficult to carry, but becomes easier as faith grows. All of the burdens in this life, that come from following Christ, are made easier by the knowledge that God knows about them, and that He cares for us, and that they only last for a short time, before He provides relief. Indeed, we are to celebrate our afflictions, knowing that we share in the suffering of Christ, and the saints that came before us. And that all of life is just a brief trial, and then we cross the threshold and enter into eternal joy with Our Lord.
O How I Love Jesus!