MATTHEW 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
THEME OF THE DAY. THE GENTLENESS OF JESUS. Today’s scripture is the only time in our Bibles when the Lord describes His heart. In this most heartwarming portion of God’s Word, we hear the Lord Jesus offer the greatest invitation a human being will ever embrace – His call to rest, soul rest, and contentment of heart. And in the giving of the invitation, He reveals why He gives it and why we can approach Him to receive it. He is gentle and lowly in heart. Let us think on the former of these two wonderful qualities – the Lord’s gentleness – in its application in our lives, but first, we must define it. To be gentle is to exhibit mercy, tenderness, and kindness toward others for the single purpose of their betterment and goodwill. Now the gentleness of Jesus applied . . .
When we fail the Lord for the umpteenth time and the voices of condemnation and a guilty conscience scream loud words like, “Worthless, He won’t forgive you, what type of Christian are you?”, we may be tempted to despair. As the temptation intensifies, pause, and remember the gentleness of Jesus toward broken sinners. Like the woman caught in adultery in John 8. She heard those voices with clarity. Oh, they were not from a human source outside of her. It was within her, and Jesus quiets them with His gentleness – “Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:11). And by the way, He will speak those same words of gentleness to us in our sinning times too.
Another application of the Lord’s gentleness will be in those seasons when we feel abandoned, mistreated, and lonely. Like the blind man given sight in John 9. Here was a man cast out by his friends, families, and religious leaders. His faults? None. He simply told the truth about Jesus healing him. And it cost him isolation. Yet, here comes the gentleness of Jesus to His rescue – They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him (John 9:34-38). How did Jesus display His gentleness? He sought him. He came to be His companion. He ministers to his hurt by giving him Himself. What a display of “reaching gentleness” by our Lord! And yes, in our unfair treatment by others, in our abandonment and loneliness, the gentleness of Jesus will come to us and give to us the greatest gift possible – the companionship of Himself!
The gentleness of our Lord. It is manifested in so many ways. Take time and ask Him to show us. It will draw our hearts and minds to greater praise and worship for such a gentle God.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for not only being my Great and Glorious God, but also my Gentle God.”
QUOTE: “Jesus handles us in all of life with gentle touches and He expects the same of us to others.”