Heavy words from Jesus
May 13, 2017
Jesus said some very politically incorrect things during his ministry. He didn't always seem to have tact in what he said, nor did he seem to care if he hurt anyone's feelings. He spoke to the religious leaders and told them they were phonies and listed many of their hypocrisies. He told the Roman governor that he didn't have any authority except what God gave him. He told the people of his hometown that they couldn't accept his teachings. And he told one of his closest men (Peter) he was being influenced by the devil. No, Jesus didn't seem to care if he stepped on peoples' toes, nor if they got their feeling hurt.
Why was Jesus so blunt and seemingly lacking in tact? The answer is simple — that he cared and he wanted people to see that what you do on earth maters in eternity. Once, when he was speaking harshly to the religious leaders, he ended by telling them his heart.
Matthew 23:37 says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."
Like a mother hen protects her young, so Jesus wanted to gather even those who were living in hypocrisy. He wanted them to turn from their evil thoughts, repent of their sin and trust in him. But sadly, as Jesus said, they were not willing to come to him. The good news is that this same offer to come to Christ is still open to everyone today.
In Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT), Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
The great thing about that invite is that it is for all people to all generations, not just the religious hypocrite, not just for those who live wild and immoral, and not just for Peter and the Apostles. Jesus' call is to anyone who is tired of carrying the burdens of life. Jesus says, "trust in me, let me take your heaviness, let me teach you as you learn from my example. And, oh yeah, I have no heavy burden because mine is easy and light."
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Have you trusted in this Jesus? Have you listened to his heavy words and taken them to heart for yourself? If not, consider Christ today, read your Bible and go to your local church to learn more about this one who changed the world by his words. If you are a follower of Jesus, remember the great love that God has shown you and be filled with the Holy Spirit who empowers you rest in Christ.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.