Encounters with Jesus
No one meets Jesus and leaves that encounter the same. That is what the Jewish people experienced as we read the book of Matthew. The theme of Matthew is "King Jesus". This book was written by a Jewish man to a very Jewish community. The first 10 chapters of Matthew are a declaration of Jesus as God who came to heal, teach, and show the Truth.
Matthew 11-12 is a shift that shows that
Jesus came and disrupted their religious systems and beliefs. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Come to ME
Jesus isn't inviting people to a doctrine, creed, or idea. He is inviting them to a relationship with the Creator of all!
Internal - my own way of striving to be "good enough".
External - something that others have put on you.
The Rabbis of the day had many rules that they laid on the people. The talmud was 2711 pages long, and gave "clarification" to the Torah. It was a burden.
Take my yoke
The yoke was the heavy bar between oxen to make for efficient plowing. The yoke was for submission and obedience.
Again, the rabbis would say, "put yourself under my yoke".
Jesus' yoke is easy (good, kind). He carries the other half and walks with us.
Habits form Who We are because Habits are Little Liturgies of Worship
4 Habits from Justin Early:
Habits of Scripture
1. Scripture before Screen
2. Choose a Plan
3. Limit Daily Media
Rhythms of Prayer
1. Morning, Noon, and Evening
2. Handwashing Blessing for Neighbors
3. Pray with your family