July 5

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

What happened? In the part of the world where Christianity has been most widely accepted, people are searching here, there and everywhere for gurus, teachers, leaders and saviours, yet they do not recognize the one who has been acknowledged among them for centuries. They take on other yokes; some are spiritual, some philosophical, some political; some are brash, others are low-keyed; some are strange, some are familiar; some are ancient, others novel. To take someone’s yoke is to live under that person’s influence, their ideas and attitudes. In the time of Jesus, to live under the tutelage of a rabbi was to live under that rabbi’s yoke. Jesus contrasted his yoke with that of others of his time. Compared with them, his yoke was easy, for central to his teaching was the offer of grace, acceptance and forgiveness. God is reaching out to us; we do not have to climb the dizzy heights of religious and moral rectitude to get to God. Jesus has opened up the way to live an authentic human life, and through his Spirit is walking beside us as a friend to help us. All it calls for is humble trust, and that’s the obstacle. We humans like to be in control. We would rather have the satisfaction of reaching our own goals instead of seeking God’s goals. We would rather get to God through learning or through attaining some esoteric knowledge revealed only to a privileged few than to live by faith in the One whose life was so inextricably linked with the life of the Father that to know one is to know the other.

  • Who are some of the gurus, teachers, leaders, saviours that people are turning to today?
  • How can the one who said, “Whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me” say that his yoke is easy?
  • How do people make the life of faith a burden? Why do they do it?
  • When is it easy to trust God and when is it difficult?