Matthew 11:20-30 Real peace
Nobody likes the idea of judgment, right? The reason why we do need judgment is a very important topic. It is impossible to accept the message of the Bible if you do not understand our deep need for justice, which is the reason for the judgment.
Instead of getting into this complex debate, we’ll focus on this episode with Jesus. It is not to avoid debate, but to advance our understanding. Jesus is smart and what he does in this episode helps us with the debate about justice and judgment.
Why does Jesus rebuke the cities at this time? Jesus had had a bad day, or was there something else? Does he really have a right?
Verse 20: the miracles he has done. They are signs of the kingdom of God and of God’s purpose Remember the type of miracle: in the form of 11.5 – the blind see, the deaf hear…. The poor hear good news! They are about restoration (not judgment, not punishment, not fire and brimstone). That is to say, the first step of Jesus is to show the proximity of God to his creation, that God is in favor of us.
Don’t we realise what Jesus was doing in his miracles is what we want?
Have you heard about the The “Decidim Barcelona” campaign?(www.decidim.barcelona). The proposals are about having better coexistence, more health, less poverty, more participation in life
Just like Jesus, right? 11.5! They are signs, that is, they are proofs of the intention and purpose of the kingdom of God. It’s very 21st century right? The idea that we should focus on the evidence. Jesus wants the same thing as us!
Do you really want the best for everyone?
Jesus does, and his reproach of the cities is because they do not turn to God, or in this context they do not see that God is in favour of these cities. They did not believe it and they turn their backs on the one who did best what they wanted; a life of wholeness
But, I do not see miracles. Maybe. The power of Jesus continues: what happens when you work together with Jesus? A story of a church in Chicago, United States. It is located in a very poor area of the city. Cassandra Williams entered the medical center that was in charge of the church. She was pregnant and needed medical help and they gave it to her. The doctor saw that she also had a spiritual need and asked her. She responded positively and started attending church and ended up meeting Jesus. She spoke with her boyfriend and also started attending church and also ended up meeting Jesus. This did not solve their problems in an instant, there was a long struggle. However, a transformation started from the life of poverty towards a life of real hope. After several years, they came to the decision to marry and make a real commitment to each other. They invited the members of the family to the ceremony and the real commitment before Jesus and it turned out that more family members ended up knowing Jesus. Now Cassandra’s husband runs one of the small businesses that the church has started in the area. It has twelve employees and the company earns more than $ 50,000 a year. Now that is a true transformation.
I’m not saying that it is impossible to change things without Jesus. There are many organisations that try. But they only change the material and the truth is, it doesn’t last. The great social changes in history always go with an encounter with our creator, whom Jesus shows. I do not think I can convince you in a moment. You have to do the research. Ask me!
Jürgen Habermas is a German philosopher self-proclaimed atheist. He is, perhaps, the most important philosopher in Europe. In 2007, when the European Union omitted Christianity as part of its history and heritage in its new constitution he spoke out and said, “Christianity and nothing else is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights and democracy, the benchmarks of Western Civilisation. To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source and everything else is postmodern chatter.”
Jesus calls to our attention that he wants a restored world and he can do that so much more than we can. God’s desire is to change the material and the spiritual, a complete restoration.
So in the context, the reproach is for not recognising that Jesus wants the best for everyone. It’s our desire, is not it? The reproach is for not recognising the power to do it with Jesus, because our vision is short term.
Is it possible that we do not want really want it? Maybe we are truly more self-centred than we are willing to admit. The good we do is more to feel good about ourselves, and so it only goes so far. It’s a matter of: “All animals are the equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” George Orwell, Animal Farm.
Why do we reject Jesus if he gives us what we want? (the most powerful power to improve the world) The answer is our human pride: I do not need your help. I do not want to be responsible to anyone. But it would be foolish not to respond to the evidence, right?
Look at Barcelona and its attitude. Don’t copy it.
The worst thing is that Jesus does not want to reign over us in the form of a dictatorship. He wants to reign side by side.
Verse 25 shows us that its the things we hide that stops us from seeing this: that is, no one who is proud thinks they are in a danger of judgment. Only the humble can see; you cannot do life without God.And you?
The way to change the world is to learn from Jesus, that we can learn from the Father, that is, our creator; verse 27. This is the way it works: Father and son! Working with God is not a vending machine, but as between a Father and his Son. For this reason Christianity is relational, not really is not a religion.
We are all sons! Son means that we receive an inheritance. Calling women ‘sons’ in this context is a way of valuing them as much as men. They have the same right!
And the way is to have it revealed to us, that is, to be taught. The creator has the right way for his creation. So that the burden does not kill us (verse 29). Which leads to inner peace: I do not have to change the world by myself.
And a yoke? To share the load, how to carry it better. Jesus is realistic. Life has burdens and Jesus wants to teach us in a better way how to carry them Do not carry it alone!
Do you feel the burden of life? Investigate the difference that real Christianity makes in real life. Ask Jesus to reveal to you, to teach you (verses 27 to 28) Remember that it is not a vending machine relationship, but as between Father and Son. Notice the difference when you and Jesus are side by side
Do you want Jesus to reproach you or help you? Jesus makes his rebuke because the desire to improve the world without him is like having a hand tied behind your back.
Jesus invites us (Come, v 28) but does not oblige us. Jesus promises us to respond to our decision. Why do life on your own when Jesus has the same purpose?