Gentle and Humble in Heart By Scarlett Stough

Jesus invites us to learn from him what it means to be “gentle and humble in heart.” He promises rest as the result of coming to him and learning from him.

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 (Matthew 11:28-39.)

This passage shouldn’t be separated from the example and teaching Jesus gives in Chapter Twelve of Matthew. His disciples were criticized for plucking and eating grain from the fields on the Sabbath (the seventh day of rest decreed by God in the Ten Commandments.) They were hungry and in need of food. The religious leaders instead of seeing the need saw only an infraction of their many rules, much of which was extra-biblical and even contradictory to God’s intention for his law.

Jesus used this incident to teach us about mercy. God’s laws teach us right from wrong and give us a standard for how to worship him and how to treat one another. God never intended his law to create suffering or prolong suffering. He intended his law to bring us to Christ who will write this law on our hearts. He wants our obedience to be out of a heart of love for God and a love for others.

The Sabbath is intended for the good of man, as are the other nine (Mark 2:27-28.) When we add unnecessary restrictions to this gift from God, we end up causing suffering instead of relieving it as he intended. Jesus never disobeyed any of his Father’s commands, nor did he encourage others to do so. He was the sinless sacrifice taking our punishment for our sins (Isaiah 53.)

Jesus is the ultimate model of self-sacrificing gentleness and mercy, humbling himself to take our punishment upon himself.

His desire for us is “mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 12:7; Hosea 6:6.)


Volume 11 Issue 9 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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