(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Gentleness is power under control.
The question becomes then, “If one has the power to react and chooses not to, why is that?”
There is no better place to go than to the Lord Jesus. As with all the characteristics we have been looking at, the Lord is the place to go to understand them in their perfection and how they are applied to us.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This phrase is fascinating to reflect on (please share yours). We often focus on the first phrase, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” But yet he doesn’t just invite us to rest on a recliner in our living room, he invites us to take up a yoke and learn from him.
A yoke was put over the shoulders of work animals so they could pull together the load that was behind them. Reading about yoking oxen, the reality is that two oxen pulling together can pull up to two-times the load the two could individually. However, the pair must work together, even if one ox is stronger than the other. So oxen that are self-centered, unable to work with someone else do not make the cut to plow the field.
When Jesus invites us to “yoke” with him, he a) makes our burden lighter, but b) he reminds us who he is, “gentle and humble in heart.”
He is not going to use his power to over power or burden us more. He is not going to be self-centered and refuse to pull a step more. His gentleness is his willingness to walk in step with us. He didn’t have too. We’ve given him many reasons why we have no business being yoked with him. However, he has no arrogance or pride to uphold. He humbles himself and becomes a servant to us and with us to carry the loads of life, but more importantly the load of sin.
When you think of a family carrying their bags through the airport to catch a flight, the youngest child may say, “I can’t keep up, my backpack is too heavy.” Dad doesn’t then put his own back pack on the shoulders of his child, rather he takes the pack and holds his hand to lighten the burden and move forward to catch the flight.
Jesus acts as a gentle, loving father who carries his child’s burdens and walks with him through life. He controls the full use of his divine power to walk with us and give rest for our souls.
Apply: What burdens are you trying to carry, that Jesus invites and is willing to carry for us. What picture of gentleness describes Jesus’ relationship with you?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being gentle and humble to walk with me and carry my burdens. AMEN.