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Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
Series A

 

Option #1: "Three Reasons to Come to Jesus"
Matthew 11:28-30
Rev. Wayne Dobratz

I. Other taskmasters are harsh and inflict heavy burdens--Ps 38:3-4; Eccl 2:21-23; Matt 23:1-4

II. Jesus’ yoke is different, for He is gentle and humble, Ps 116:7;  Eccl 2:24-25; Isaiah 55:1-3; Jeremiah 6:16; Matt 12:19-20; John 7:37, 13:14-17, 14:21-22, 15:9-16

III. His yoke is easy (?--see Vincent & Robertson below) and His burden is light--Prov 3:13-18; Micah 6:8; Acts 15:6-11;   2 Cor 1:3ff; Gal 5:1 & 18;  Eph 4:21-24; Phil 2:5ff; 1 John 5:3-5 

Title: Vincent's Word Studies, Vol 1: Synoptic Gospels
Author: Vincent, Marvin R. Matthew 11:30
Easy (chreestos)
Not a satisfactory rendering. Christ’s yoke is not easy in the ordinary sense of that word. The word means originally, good, serviceable. The kindred noun, chreestotees, occurring only in Paul’s writings, is rendered kindness in 2 Corinthians 6:6; Titus 3:4; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:7 (Rev), and goodness, Romans 2:4 (Rev). At Luke 5:39, it is used of old wine, where the true reading, instead of better, is good (chreestos), mellowed with age. Plato (“Republic,” 424) applies the word to education. “Good nurture and education (trophee gar kai paideusis cheestee), implant good (agathas) constitutions; and these good (chreestai) constitutions improve more and more”; thus evidently using chreestos and agathos as synonymous. The three meanings combine in the word, though it is impossible to find an English word which combines them all. Christ’s yoke is wholesome, serviceable, kindly. “Christ’s yoke is like feathers to a bird; not loads, but helps to motion” (Jeremy Taylor).

Robertson agrees about the translation of (chreestos)
Title: Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol 1: Matthew & Mark
Author: Robertson, Archibald Thomas
Matthew 11:29: Take my yoke upon you and learn of me
The rabbis used yoke for school, as many pupils find it now a yoke. The English word “school” is Greek for leisure (schole˘). But Jesus offers refreshment (anapausin) in his school and promises to make the burden light, for he is a meek and humble teacher. Humility was not a virtue among the ancients. It was ranked with servility. Jesus has made a virtue of this vice. He has glorified this attitude so that Paul urges it (Philippians 2:3), “in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself.” In portions of Europe today people place yokes on the shoulders to make the burden easier to carry. Jesus promises that we shall find the yoke kindly and the burden lightened by his help. “Easy” is a poor translation of chrestos. Moffatt puts it “kindly.” That is the meaning in the Septuagint for persons. We have no adjective that quite carries the notion of kind and good. The yoke of Christ is useful, good, and kindly.

The Disciples Study Bible summarizes:
Evil and Suffering, God's Present Help--Jesus promised rest for the weary and troubled. Rest is not the absence of labor, hardship, or suffering. Rest is the absence of guilt, worry, anxiety, and lack of meaning. Jesus promises meaning, hope, assurance, peace, and joy even in the troubles we must endure in life. Following Jesus does not bring the burden and guilt of trying to follow numberless legalistic rules. It brings the confidence of living in His love. Salvation, As Rest--God's salvation is rest. This is in some respects comparable to the Old Testament understanding of salvation as refuge. Jesus invites the weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest for their souls. The yoke He puts on persons is much easier than that of the legalistic religion taught by the scribes and Pharisees (Mk 7:2-5, 8; Ac 15:10). His burdens are lighter than the burdens others may put on us. Especially can He give us rest from the heavy burden of sin.
 

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Option #2: "Perfection in the Making!"
Romans 7:15-25a
Rev. Kelly Bedard

A. Wretches

       1. Filled with sin, which always seems to win (vv17-18), not morally superior

       2. Untransformed by the "Law" and so ridiculed by the world as hypocritical

B. Saved Wretches

       1. The "inner being" dwelling within us, the "wretched man" one day to be delivered

       2. In the meantime, a constant inner battle wars within us but ultimately has no power

Notes

1. sarx  (v18): flesh, carnal, carnally minded, fleshly; the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of people apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God.

2. eso (v22): within, in, into, inward, inner; the internal inner person; the soul, conscience.

3. melos (v23): a member, limb: a member of the human body; of bodies given up to criminal intercourse, because they are as it were members belonging to the harlot's body.

4. talaiporos (v24): wretched; enduring toils and troubles; afflicted, wretched.

5. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like you! Okay--me, too! (c;

6. A new bumper sticker? "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" has been around for awhile. How 'bout "Christians are perfect [justification], just not [always; sanctification] forgiving!"?

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