Starting well can be more critical in some situations that others. It is more critical in a 100 meter dash than an 8K race. Still if you don’t start well, it can cause real struggles and often must be overcome. Try starting out badly in a marriage, parenting or a new job and you will have some real make up work to get back on track.
This week we looked at Jesus’ invitation to learn what it looks like to start out well in following Him. The highlights are below. For the full lesson go to www.parkviewfamily.com.
Here is the invitation: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.” Matthew 11:28-30. The key is understanding what coming to Jesus means in this invitation. There are four key facets we discover about how to begin.
FIRST: Decide You Want to Stick with Jesus.
Coming to Jesus means attaching yourself to Him. One certain thing about a yoke in Jesus’ world- unless it is over easy- is that it attaches one ox to another. The invitation to come to Him is really an invitation to become attached to Him.
SECOND: Decide you are Ready to Learn from Jesus.
Luke 6:40 40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
Coming to Jesus means committing to His training. Jesus makes it clear that the invitation is an invitation to become a devoted student. Students would often move in with master teachers to fully embrace their way of life not just a limited knowledge base.
THIRD: Decide You are Ready to let Jesus Lead.
Coming to Jesus means letting Him set the pace & direction. By implication, when you are attached whatever you do is done together. In those days it was practice to yoke an inexperienced ox with an experienced one. The younger one would learn by following the lead of the older one. This is what Jesus has in mind. He later mentions that His yoke is easy. Sometimes Christians complain that it isn’t. Usually that happens when we aren’t letting Him lead. Instead we strain against his leadership, direction or pace and make it harder on ourselves than it needs to be.
FOURTH: Decide You are Willing to Embrace Jesus’ Work.
Mark 1:17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
Coming to Jesus means becoming part of His work. If you are an ox, the only reason to be in a yoke is because it’s time for work. You are either going to pull a plow or a cart. Work is implied in the metaphor of being in a yoke, but our work as followers of Jesus is different. We get involved in His work when we are really attached to Him. The good news is that He trains us. He also carries the heavy lifting. But he gets us into his work of seeking and saving the lost.
I hopes this gives you a sense of what it means to get started following Jesus. What other insights do you see in Jesus invitation in Matthew 11:28-30?