1) The World’s Way
A) Atheist and Agnostic
The Wise and Understanding
This is really written almost in a sarcastic way because Jesus is saying those who think they are wise. Most Atheist believe they are people of reason but if you examine what they believe it comes down to faith and false assumptions about the world.
The World and its ways thinks it knows best but then they keep searching for better answers or create theories to make what they believe seem reasonable. What they have is not intelligence but intellectual pride because they are not willing to look at the facts and the proof.
“You are the dumbest smart person I’ve ever met” Will Smith in I Robot
Jesus is not saying that you have to be dumb in order to accept God’s Salvation you just have to stop thinking that it is through your wisdom that you will find it. The proof, the evidence is all there and yet people will not see it because they think by their wisdom and their understanding is correct.
“We have the same facts. But what we make of those facts is colored by our worldview. Thus, creationists and evolutionists interpret the same facts differently. This point cannot be overstated. Much of the frustration in arguments over origins stems from a failure to recognize that creationist and evolutionists must interpret the same data differently due to their world view.” ( The Ultimate Proof of Creation, Dr. Jason Lisle)
As Christians we accept Logic, Moral law, order, and purpose because we believe God created all of it.Atheist have to borrow the Biblical Principle of Logic and moral code to explain things because if the world was created in chaos then we should not be able to make sense of it. We know right and wrong because when we are wronged we know it. If there is no moral law giver than there should be no right and wrong although we all know the difference between right and wrong.
“Atheist Friedrich Nietzsche “If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him; and “It is our preference that decides against Christianity, not arguments.” (I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist, pg 30, Norman Geisler, and Frank Turek)
Those who do not believe in a God have to continually come up with theories and hypothesis to make sure that what they believe is true. As Christians we see the evidence of God and we accept that evidence and believe in the one who gave us the evidence. We have to keep in mind that it is not our evidence but His and it is our job to present to others the evidence God has given us.
We are no better than the religious leaders Jesus was addressing who by their spiritual (religious) practices felt good about themselves while at the same time missing the savior right in front of them.
B) The Spiritual
John 5:37-40 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
It is not just those who are Atheist who call Christians dumb for believing in Jesus for their salvation, but the religious who think that by their actions they will attain eternal life. Jesus was dealing constantly with religious people who believed they were going to heaven and yet they were missing it. They had all their rules and regulations and they thought through them and their works they would attain eternal life.
Today our world is filled with Spiritual Gurus who promise to make your life better. The new spirituality is not based on anything other than how you feel and relieving the guilt you might be experiencing.
“New Age Spirituality runs amok by displacing inductive reasoning and replacing it with a personalized mystical revelation as the sufficient if not sole bases for universal truth. (Why Jesus? Ravi Zacharias, Pg. 30)
We might as well sit around a room and sing the song like the blue comedy tour: “I Believe…”because we have made a religion or spirituality that instead of inviting Jesus into my heart invites myself into my heart. The religious leaders of Jesus day and the spiritualist of our day all have the same goal: Heaven or Nirvana on their terms. The problem with this is the confusion of believing you are heading to heaven when you are not. Many people believe that when they die they will go to heaven because people have not told them the truth about their actions, the Holiness of God, and how to attain salvation through Jesus Christ.
Read vs 27
The problem with this Spirituality is that Jesus is the reveal-er of truth and He has let it be known how you can have eternal life.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In verse 25 Jesus says “I thank you Father” not “Our Father” like in the Lords prayer. The people would have known that Jesus was claiming equality with God and that He had the authority to reveal the truths of God because He and God were equal.
You may not want to have a standard to base your life on but the reality by saying that anything goes means you have no foundation in which you can stand. This is why people continue to search and try because at the end of the day they long for something more because what they have attained is not enough.
Ravi Zacharias in his book Why Jesus? talks about how it is ironic that in America people are running to eastern religions (or something similar because they have been Americanized) while in the East they are looking for something else because the eastern religions have not fulfilled what they promised.
Those who are willing to listen to the truth about Jesus will see it but those who are set on not wanting to even examine the claims of Christ will never see it. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who would not listen to you no matter what evidence you gave them? This is what this verse is saying that many will never see the truth because they are not willing to. Christianity is a relationship and God is willing to show those who are willing to listen and seek Him but if they refuse He will not force them to believe.
2) God’s Way
Read vs 28-30
A) The Humble
God has revealed these truth to children does not mean the simple minded like we are accused of being. To be a Christian does not mean you are dumb it means that you are willing to accept the things of God with the evidence that He has provided for us about Himself and His salvation.
Children are humble because they are willing to come to their parents and find out what is true.Humble people are willing to listen and learn while arrogant people think they have the answer. The humble are willing to submit and take a lower position to others while the arrogant think they are better than others.
Many people miss God because they want to be equal with God instead of seeing themselves for who they really are and humbling themselves. They are not willing to see themselves as sinners who do not deserve God but arrogantly think they are good enough to be in God’s presence by their works of righteousness.
It is arrogant in our society to say you know the truth but is it any more arrogant to say there is no truth? People are searching for truth but if you say you have the truth they call you arrogant and keep looking. It makes no sense but what it says is that people really do not want the truth just what fits their lifestyle.
“If someone could provide reasonable answers to the most significant questions and objections you have about Christianity- reasonable to the point that Christianity seems true beyond reasonable doubt- would you then become a Christian? (I Don’t have enough faith to be and Atheist, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, pg 31 )
It is humble to follow Christ because it is a voluntary giving up of our dreams, goals and life and taking on His.
Take my yoke upon you.
Despite in the previous verses of Jesus rebuking them for not believing He continues to make the plea to all that will listen to follow Him and join Him in what He is doing.
The differences between Christianity and other religions are fascinating. Christianity says God came to find us, while other religions tell you to find God. Christianity says God provided the way for us through Jesus Christ, while other religions say you should try to earn God’s approval on our own doing. Christianity says God empowers us through His Holy Spirit, while other religions tell you it is by your own power.
Now Jesus being different than all other religious leaders who call for their disciples to follow them Jesus says come and be in this yoke with me.
B) The Invitation
“Since a yoke connected two oxen in tandem, the idea of taking Jesus’ yoke means joining him in God’s work.” (Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
This is a personal relationship with a living God who wants us to be obedient to His teaching and by joining Him together we walk alongside Jesus as we accomplish the work He has for us. Our lives become connected with Christ and we walk along side of Him and yet our work is easy because He is there beside us.
Christianity, unlike other religions, is on a path with a person and not on a path to a place.
The so called wise will try and find another path to fulfillment in this life and they will have to keep changing paths or rerouting because eventually the roads they are on lead to a dead end.
People who are on the path of the “High Life” realize that if they reach that High it only last for so long and have to find another High to keep them going. If they High is more money then the question becomes “How much is enough money ? And the answer is “ just A little more” because the things of this world will never satisfy.
People will turn to religious experiences looking for hope and fulfillment and even that will leave them longing for more because religion or spirituality will not satisfy. Like those who fill up their broken jars with water they quickly discover that they will only be left holding another empty jar once the water pours out.
True Rest does not mean some meditative trance but peace that we know what happens when we die. True Rest will come in the life that follows for those who give their lives to Christ. It does not mean that this life will be easy because throughout the Gospels Jesus warned His disciples of problems they would face. It also does not mean that we do not have to do anything because the idea of walking in a yoke invokes the idea of work.
C) True Rest
Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
What it does mean is that we get to rest on Him as He walks beside us in this troubling world.It means that we find fulfillment not only in the life to come but in this world as well because we know God has a purpose for us and every bit of our life is for a purpose. It means that God created us to come along side Him and do the things that He has called us to do that will bring ultimate purpose for us and for eternity. It is rest because it really is the only lifestyle that works because it is what we were created for. You can try and discover another path but those paths will always leave you longing for more.
Definition of rest : Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.Remain or be left in a specified condition: “rest assured”.
Cease Work: to stop trying to earn your salvation and rest in the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Refresh or Recover strength: that is the promise Jesus give because He will empower us by His Spirit to do the things that He has called us to do.
Remain or be left in a specific condition: As Christians once we are yoked with Christ we have the assurance that we will always be yoked with Christ. for eternity
True rest can only be found in Christ because that is how God designed us. He created us to be in a relationship with Him and that can only take place through a relationship with Jesus Christ. You will search and search but unless you turn to Christ you will never find true rest.