The saying “you are what you eat”, is true. What we consume changes who we are. This is true about food, about books, about news, about entertainment, about friends, and many other areas of our lives. Just this week, I was teaching my 7th graders about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Jesus was at his physically weakest point, after fasting. However, just as a tree is rooted in the ground, Jesus was rooted in scripture. Jesus was exactly what he ate, he was the Living Word of God. Jesus was devoted to scripture, prayer, fasting, fellowship, service, and His Father.
Over these past few months, I have been reading from the Gospels each day. It seemed only natural to read “Good News” when so much of the news I had been reading was anything but good. The passage of scripture that has impacted me tremendously in this time is Matthew 11:28-30. I would imagine that it has impacted many others as well.
Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. Jesus is asking that we allow ourselves to be fastened to His yoke so that we can work and learn right beside him. There will always be worries and burdens in this world. We are not defined by our work or by figuring life out. True living is living with Jesus and working alongside him.
There were things to worry about before the coronavirus and there will be things to worry about when life returns to as it was. Jesus does not give us a fish or take away our worries, instead, he teaches us how to fish or how to live in a world of worries. Jesus teaches that obedience to his Sermon on the Mount will develop in us a balance and a way of life that will give more rest than the way we have been living.” (Frederick Dale Bruner) As followers of Jesus, we are following the model that Jesus set forth, and simply taking ONE step at a time.
This has been a reminder that I have needed every day. I hope that these words from “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, would be a simple reminder for each day and that it would be a stepping stone on the path of being fastened to His yoke.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.”
May we be reminded to turn our focus away from the world and look at Jesus. As we look at Jesus, may we allow His light of hope, glory, and grace to overcome the pain of this world. And may we share this life-changing message with others.