Jump Start # 2047
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in hear; and you shall find rest for your souls.”
Come, learn from Me. What a welcoming and inviting invitation from Jesus. There are some great lessons that we can pull from that very statement.
First, God wants us to know Him. He is not standoffish. He is not distant from us. He is not seeking privacy and shelter. There are some people, especially high profile ones, that you never can get close to. They don’t want you to get close to them. They are very secretive and very private about their lives. Jesus is not like that. For three years the Holy Spirit reveals the conversations, the interruptions, the travels and the life of Jesus’ ministry. We see Jesus before massive crowds. We see Jesus alone with people like Nicodemus, the woman at the well. We see Jesus with people who are at their worst moments. A frantic father, whose daughter is dying. He pleads with Jesus to come. We see Martha, upset and bothered because she is left to serve alone. We see the curious Zacchaeus up in a tree. We see the twisted Pharisees, plotting a trap to expose Jesus. And, we see Jesus in all of these situations.
Second, this generation can learn so much more about Jesus. At our finger tips are multiple translations of the Bible that in times past had to be purchased and many were not available. Most of these are free on Bible apps. And, that is another amazing way to learn from Jesus. We always have our phones with us. We never go anywhere without our phones. And right there, with us everywhere can be the word of God. Don’t know where to start? There are dozens of Bible reading schedules on apps. We are never without the Bible. I sat with Jeremy Dehut of Appian Media yesterday. He and Barry Britnell, along with a crew of Christians have filmed a 10 episode series called, “Following the Messiah.” The DVD’s are inexpensive and many of the episodes are on Youtube. What they have done is gone to Israel and professionally and Biblically brought the story of Jesus and the background together. Most will never get the chance to travel to Israel. Some have seen still pictures, but here in brilliant color, sitting in our living rooms, we can see what the Jordan River, the sea of Galilee not only looked like, but here preachers explaining things from the text that we would never know. This was not possible, nor affordable in earlier generations. It brings accuracy to the text and it brings it alive in our hearts.
Learn from Me. We have so much information today. It is amazing what we can know and learn.
Third, what we learn from Jesus is not trivial facts, fun facts, things to ask in game, but rather, the qualities of character. We see Jesus the servant. We see Jesus the faithful and dedicated follower of God’s will. We see the pure Jesus. We see the honest Jesus. We see the compassionate Jesus. Traits of a heart that is selfless and kind. Characteristics of a heat that is focused, dedicated and determined. This is what we learn from Jesus. The praying Jesus. The Jesus that always referred to the word of God. The Jesus that came to do the will of His Father. What the Gospels do not show is what did Jesus wear on this day or that day. Nor, what did Jesus eat on this day or that day. Those are the kinds of things that many would want to know, but that doesn’t show the heart and the will of Jesus. Learn from Me, is not about eating what Jesus ate. It’s about becoming like Jesus. It’s about thinking like Jesus. It’s about making righteous choices as Jesus did.
In learning from Jesus, we see that people disappoint and people let you down. In learning from Jesus, we see that Satan is always nearby, trying to trip us. In learning from Jesus, we see that showing people that you care is important. In learning from Jesus we understand that people are not in the same place spiritually. Jesus, by talking with them, understood where they were and He knew then where to begin with people. A Nicodemus, who was a teacher of the law, was not in the same place as the Samaritan woman, who didn’t fully understand worship. We learn how to connect to people when we watch Jesus.
Fourth, learning from Jesus, changes us. This is the central point of that thought. We really haven’t learned Jesus, when we are demanding, selfish, being a bully, and always upset and arguing with others. You may have learned that, but not from Jesus. Being too good to help others, is not something you picked up from Jesus. Spending time in the Gospels ought to more than smooth off our rough edges. It ought to rewire our house. It should change the way we think. It should open our eyes and allow us to see things as God sees them. When Peter and John were arrested, it was obvious that they had been with Jesus. The Lord had rubbed off on them. Worship, prayer, Bible study, fellowshipping with spiritual giants, ought to do the same for us. We are not the same any more. We’ve been to Jesus. It shows. It shows in our attitude. It shows in our words. It shows in what’s important to us. It shows in our trust of the Lord. It shows in how we worry less, complain less and are bothered less. It shows in the depth of our conversation. It shows in our obsession with the eternal. We have learned from Jesus. We have become like Him.
There are a lot of things we learn throughout our lives. That little baby comes into the world and it cannot speak. It doesn’t even know it’s name. By the time one graduates from college, there have been so many things learned. Some useful. Others, not so much. Many of the things we have learned will stay with us for a long, long time. Many lessons didn’t come from the classroom but from family and friends. We learn at an early age to be honest, or to stretch things and lie. Habits, often carried throughout our lives, are formed when we are young. Most smokers didn’t start when they were 50. By then, they are trying to quit. By then, they are dying from lung disease. No, most started very young. The same with drinking alcohol. The same with lying. The same with addiction to porn. Others, have learned from a young age, to worship God every week. Some have learned the value of praying to God every day. Some have learned to mold their thoughts, character and habits after the Lord. Some, from a very early age, have learned to share and be a servant.
There are lessons all of our lives. We are always learning. I heard a professor from George Mason University, an economist, make the claim that all the materials necessary to make a cell phone were available in George Washington’s day. I wasn’t sure about that. Chips? Plastics? His point was, technology and human ingenuity has taken the materials already on the planet to develop what is in our cell phones today. Man’s ability to know these things wasn’t developed in Washington’s time, but, the material was all there. Man learned.
The greatest lesson we can ever learn is about Jesus. Come, learn from Me. Our times would be much better, if we opened up the Bible and learned from the best. We become our best, when we learn from the best.