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“He healed them”

July 29, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Matthew 4:23-24; 11:28-30

Matthew 4
23 Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues. He announced the good news of the kingdom and healed every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread throughout Syria. People brought to him all those who had various kinds of diseases, those in pain, those possessed by demons, those with epilepsy, and those who were paralyzed, and he healed them.

Matthew 11
28 “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. 30 My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus brought liberation by teaching and healing, and he gave an open invitation to follow him by putting on his yoke and receiving rest. The 18th century Methodist theologian Adam Clarke said that a yoke “signified not only that sort of neck-harness by which [oxen] drew in wagons, carts, or in the plough; but also any kind of bond, or obligation, to do some particular thing, or to do some particular work.” * Other teachers of the day had heavy yokes like burdensome laws and rituals. Jesus said his commands, and our obedient response to them, won’t weigh us down.

  • Jesus invited all people to follow him and receive his rest, no matter who they were. His followers included the ordinary, the outcasts, and the sinners. Has anyone ever made you feel as though you were unwelcome, not worthy to approach God? How does Jesus’ invitation for all to come to him help you to feel confident that Jesus wants to have a relationship with you?
  • Jesus came to bring freedom, and he still offers us this freedom today. Psalm 55:22 said, “Cast your burden on the LORD–he will support you!” Is there something in your life that feels like a heavy yoke, or an area where you feel like you need Jesus to bring you freedom and rest?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to be under your yoke, trusting that it won’t weigh me down. Please take the heavy burdens I am carrying and give me rest. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Steve Schneeberger

Steve Schneeberger

Steve Schneeberger serves as the RezLife Student MInistries Lead Director. He grew up in Overland Park, graduating from Baker University and the University of Kansas. He has led and taught about youth ministry for over 30 years. He is married to Carol, a middle school counselor, and they have three children (Hannah, Bobby and Michael) and one dog, Buc (named after a hippogriff in the Harry Potter series). Steve enjoys running, playing basketball, watching Netflix and reading.

How are you? No, really. How are you?

If you are like me, when someone asks me this question, my usual response is, “Fine.” Or “I’m well.” Honestly, on most days my state of being is conflicted. I feel good about some things and not so good about others. My right knee hurts more or less. And my situation is always relative–relative to my own experience either in the moment or relative to the situation others find themselves in. I am sure that at any given moment there are billions of people either in a better or worse place than me.

All that to say–I am fine in contrast to everything and everybody else. But that doesn’t mean I’m not carrying heavy burdens even if, by comparison, my burden is lighter than someone else or lighter than other burdens I have carried at other times in my life. A burden is a burden and can feel heavy.

For the last two years (since I have worked at Resurrection), I have lived in Kansas City, apart from my wife and children. We wanted my youngest two children to graduate from high school before we sold our house in Orlando and made the move to Kansas City. Living apart from my wife and children was not part of my plan. I missed out on a lot. Plus, my wife bore the weight of keeping our house and raising our children (something we had previously agreed to share as a married couple). Obviously, we made this choice knowing that our journey would be burdensome and also trusting God was part of our decision to come to Resurrection and eventually move to Kansas City.

Well, this week we sold our house in Orlando and bought a house in Olathe. My wife started her job at Aspen Grove Elementary in the Blue Valley School District as their counselor. And all of our belongings are in transit to our new home. The burden has been lifted. But most importantly, the burden wasn’t overwhelming the last two years either. I credit our trust in God in bearing our burden with us as being the key. We knew this was the direction God was leading us because we often ask God to “make things obvious” to us. For so many reasons this was obvious. Difficult? Sure. Heavy at times? Yeah. But lighter and hope-filled because God promised and carried this burden with us.

I hope you are able to do the same with whatever you are carrying.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Matthew 11 – Clarke’s commentary – bible commentaries. StudyLight.org. (n.d.). https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/matthew-11.html.