Summary: Who is Jesus
Who is Jesus?
If you are anything like me – at first blush the only part of our passage that is vaguely comprehensible is the end of the reading where Jesus says:
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
And as Blaise Pascal once put it:
“Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.”
But what is the rest of the passage about?
I think the key to understanding the rest of it can be summed up saying,
Who is Jesus?
The religious people rejected Jesus just as they had rejected John the Baptist
For them John was too asture
For them Jesus simply mixed socially with “the wrong people”
But Jesus tells them that they are missing the boat because everything we know about God the Father comes ONLY from Jesus
That is quite a stunning claim.
And there are three elements to this claim from our Gospel reading this morning that I think can impact our lives
1. First of all Jesus maintains that God the Father conceals ands reveals according to his will.
We read in the Gospel this morning:
I praise you Father Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned (Mt 11:25)
It is simply grace that we can know God – it is not something we earn – or we can discover by dint of intellect.
And this will keep us humble enough in our
prayer time to ask God to show us more of himself from the Scriptures and not rely on our own understanding
We cannot prise the gates of heaven open by the strength of our own intellect.
2. Secondly only Jesus can reveal God to us
As Michael Green put it:
“Great people have of course discovered many true and noble things ABOUT God.”
But Jesus reveals God as the Abba of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught his disciples (it is interesting to note) to address God as our Father
Sometimes the English language is weak in definitions
In German for example there are two words translated “to know”
Wissen is to know a fact
Kennen is to know a person
Jesus brings us to know the person of God the Father.
Story: When Mahatma Gandhi was dying, one of his relatives came and said:
“You have been looking for God all your life. Have you found him yet?
“No”, Gandhi replied “I am still looking for him”
It is grace that Jesus reveals the Father to us when we become Christians.
3. Thirdly Jesus claims to be God
Jesus makes a monumental claim about himself when he says:
“No one knows the Son except the Father and know one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11:27)
He claims to be God
In John’s Gospel he put it even more clearly when he said:
“I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30) and the Jews immediately took stones up to stone him for blasphemy
Look again at what Jesus himself said:
No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him (Mt 11:27)
And of course on the Mount of Transfiguration God the Father vindicates Jesus’ claim when he says:
“This is my Son, and I am fully pleased with Him listen to him” (Mt 17:5)
So may I leave you with the question
What do you personally think about Jesus?
In his famous book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis once famously wrote
"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg--or he would be the devil of hell.
You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us."
So the challenge this morning is what do YOU think about who Jesus really is
Is he what he claimed?
For whatever you decide will affect the way you live your life – not just on Sunday but 24/7
May I leave you with some thoughtful words from the famous mathematican
"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t."