Message from the Minister Letter 5 – Sunday 5 July

Dear all,

I hope and pray that this letter finds you well this week.  Can you remember back to when you were at school?  If so, can you remember a particularly good teacher who inspired you and gave you a hunger and thirst for the subject you were being taught?  Having a good and inspiring teacher, helps you to learn and to stay focussed.  It is a lot easier learning about a subject when the teacher presents concepts in fresh and exciting ways.  This week we explore, Matthew 11: 16-19 and 25 to 30; Jesus after leaving the disciples, continues his teaching and preaching tour around the towns of Galilee. 

In the first portion of the reading today we find Jesus speaking to the crowd about John the Baptist.  The people were concerned about John the Baptist and his lifestyle that involved him living basically off the land.  This led to the criticism that he was possessed by a demon, whereas because Jesus ate and drank and mixed with varieties of people, he was accused of being both self-indulgent and a poor judge of character.  So the people where not happy with either lifestyle, their expectations were very difficult to please.  But Jesus corrects the record by telling people that both he and John will be proved wise by their deeds. 

In the second portion of the reading, Jesus is gives thanks to God because God has chosen to hide the truths about life from the wise and learned, but instead chose to reveal these truths to little children.  In other words, God has chosen to reveal them to people who are not considered wise or sophisticated; infants were considered to fall into this category.  In that culture, children were considered to be on the margins, dependent and vulnerable, so that made them weak and a low priority for society. 

The final part of the reading concerns the object of a yoke.  A yoke was a piece of wood designed to be used by humans or animals and worn over the neck and shoulders to make the task of carrying or pulling heavy loads easier.  Jesus explains that he has a yoke in which people can bear which is both light and bearable.  Jesus instructs that not only is His yoke light but people can learn from Him because he is gentle and humble in heart.  In so doing anyone that takes on His yoke will find rest for their souls. 

So now you’ve remembered that great teacher from your past with fondness and appreciation, think about Jesus as a good teacher waiting to help and instruct you.  He has an easy yoke in which you can share all your problems with him and He will teach you in a gentle way about the concepts of truth, wisdom and many more.  What an offer, are you taking Jesus up today?  

May the Lord Jesus; who is a humble and gentle teacher bless you and help you take the strain. 

Every blessing in His precious Service, Andrew. 

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