Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Approachability of Jesus


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 APPROACHABILITY OF JESUS.   Our Lord Jesus was given a title by the religious crowd that is music to a sinner’s ear – For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds (Matthew 11:18-19).  The title? Friend of sinners.


Why would the holy Son of God be labeled a “friend of sinners”?  The obvious answer is “because He was” but let’s tie today’s scripture to this title Jesus gladly embraced.  The real reason our Lord was a friend of sinners was His heart was gentle and lowly in heart.  Such a description of His heart makes Him approachable.  Sinners feeling the weight of sin and life’s burdens would flock to Jesus.  They knew a rejection would not be received from Him.  Why? He was gentle and lowly in heart.


In our Lord’s dealing with all people, including His own people, gentleness marked Him.  The prophet Isaiah, quoted in Matthew’s gospel, offers two more pictures of Jesus’ gentleness – a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory (Matthew 12:20).  A bruised reed is weak, very weak, and may be snapped with the slightest of effort.  This is an image of the weak sinner, the weak believer who may be easily broken, emotionally and spiritually, by the weights of sin or the difficult circumstances.  Jesus will not be the breaker of such a person because of His gentleness.  The other image is that of the smoldering wick.  Here we see the image of a lamp or candle with a barely lit wick, ready to be snuffed out by the slightest of breeze.  It is another picture of the gentleness of our Lord.


The application? We are to be as approachable as our Lord in our reputations with people.  Are we?  Is the gentleness of Jesus becoming more and more our gentleness?  The whole of the Christian life is transformational; a transformation into the image of Jesus, and few things will be more important in our witness for Christ than our becoming like Christ in His gentleness. It will make us approachable and soon, we too, will be known as a “friend of sinners” who will be equipped to introduce them to the Supreme Friend of sinners.


PRAYER: “Father, make me like Your Son, gentle and lowly.”


QUOTE: “The approachability of Jesus is found in His gentle and lowly heart.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim