Today’s reading is from Matthew chapter 15:1-2, “Then the Pharisees came to Jesus, saying ‘Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread?” Religious people are a funny sort. They can get all bent out of shape for some little thing and yet miss the more important thing. How it is that some religious people get all concerned about what people wear, what they eat or drink, what kind of music they listen to and in this case, whether they washed their hands before they ate, and yet miss the more important thing of loving their neighbors or honoring their parents. Jesus let them know that they were missing it with all their rules and regulations, which they weren’t keeping anyway! Nobody follows all the rules all the time. Nobody can. Jesus had to constantly remind these religious people that the rules were not given to make us righteous. They were given to show us that we are not righteous! God is not interested in how many so called good things we do or how many bad things we don’t do. What God is ultimately interested in, is whether we are truly connected to Him with our hearts. What impresses God is, if we are treating people with respect and honor. I think sometimes parents may need to be reminded of this. It is okay to correct your child when they do things wrong. But do you treat them with respect and honor or do you just yell at them? Are you interested in their heart or just that they do things right? May God help us to keep the main thing the main thing!
Today’s reading is in Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to Me all you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Many people do not realize that Jesus is a weight lifter. He is a world champion weight lifter. He is the original “Mr. Universe.” He lifted the weight of the sins of the world on His shoulders with one straight press. There is no weight that is too heavy for Him to lift. In order for Jesus to be the world champion weight lifter we need to cooperate with Him. We must come to Him. Too often when He is calling we are walking the other way. Too many times we are determined to do life our way. We don’t want to give Him our problems. This especially applies to people who have not truly humbled themselves and been born again. You wonder why you are still having the same old problems. It is simple. You are still carrying the weight of sin on your shoulders. Jesus offers a solution to this problem. He invites you to come to Him. Jesus is not going to force Himself upon you and make you give Him the weight off of your shoulders. The choice is yours. If we choose not to come to Him then we end up carrying all this weight of sin and guilt on our shoulders. Once we are willing to give Jesus our sins, an exchange takes place, “Take My yoke upon you.” We give Him our heavy burdens and He gives us a light burden to bear. Jesus said, take His yoke because His yoke was easy and His burden was light. Jesus was saying that the yoke He wore was easy. His own experience was that the yoke He wore and the burden He bore was light. What was His yoke? His yoke was to serve His Father and serving God is not a heavy burden. It is light! There are only two masters in this world and we will serve one or the other. Jesus is letting us know that serving our heavenly Father is the better way. If we choose to serve ourselves we are really serving the Devil and our yoke will be heavy. If we are willing to serve God and do His will, our yoke will be light. Which do you choose?