What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus shares a strong identity with the Father (verse 27).
- Jesus faced opposition (verses 20-24).
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- The comfort for our doubts is the surety of who Jesus is evidenced in the life he lived (verse 1-19).
- Disciple-making is an invitation to rest and labor with Jesus (verse 28-30).
Extended thoughts and observations:
Even John the Baptist, the greatest man who ever lived, struggles with doubt. Notice Jesus’ graciousness towards him. This is encouraging in the times we too struggle with doubt.
Notice the ‘forceful’ advance of the kingdom of heaven against forceful opposition on this earth (verse 12). I’m not sure that we think about our work for Jesus in those kinds of terms. Sometimes, our witness will be forceful. I assume that means not timid as opposed to violent.
Also, are there some people who will never be happy? (verses 16-19) If you try to chase after them, no matter what you do, they won’t be pleased. This helps me when I feel discouraged because of so many who do not respond and don’t come to church, etc.
You sense in this chapter a growing awareness of the opposition Jesus faces and therefore, the opposition that we will face… even when God does miraculous things in our midst (verses 20-25).
Notice again, Jesus’ strong sense of identity with the father. (His claims in verses 27 and following.)
Finally, in a chapter full of harsh warnings, comes this wonderful, gentle ending promise. Everyone in this world wears a yoke of some sort. No one is free. Despite what the world says, not one of us is free. Jesus offers a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.
What I learned today… I am intrigued by this forceful advance of the kingdom….