Day 336: The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Today, I’d like to share some verses from Matthew 11, from The Message. I love this version because it puts God’s language into our language, and it’s so mind-blowing to hear Jesus talking to the crowd this way. I got to this passage because I am weary, and so I Googled “I will give you rest,” [the way those last few verses usually read], but since I am on a Message kick, I thought I’d look at it there.  We pick up in verse 15 (red letter edition is my add.)

15 Are you listening to me? Really listening?

16-19 How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ (FindingKindreds note: No time for our kids? Always too busy? It’s just an example, but if it speaks to your heart, maybe you need to slow down. But pay attention: in this case, he’s telling us to stop whining. What am I complaining to God about lately? Ouch!) John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

20 Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.

21-24 “Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you. And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.”

25-26 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.” (FindingKindreds note: I love how his prayer life was just a continuation of his speaking. It makes me feel a little better when I’m frustrated with someone and then pray: God Almighty, please open his mind up and let him hear! right before I try to explain something one more time. Ha!) 

27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That last part is what I really wanted to hear tonight. Life isn’t always easy. It wasn’t for Jesus either, but he’s saying to us: Watch how I do it. He’s a good example to follow. He’s not giving us more than we can handle as long as we’re keeping company with him.

DAY 336 HOMEWORK: Hope that helped you out as much as it helped me. No specific homework tonight. Get away with Jesus and recover.


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