Journal Matt 11 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “All things have been handed over to me by my Father and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son AND any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls—for my yoke is easy and by burden is light…” Matt 11:27-30
Observation: Matthew 11 is rich in content, although it can be a little confusing on how Jesus weaves the narrative from the 1st verse to the last in Matt 11; maybe I need to include stuff from Matt 10 and Matt 12 to make sense of it?
Are these snippets of wisdom and knowledge from Jesus, unrelated from each other (like it is in Proverbs) or are they part of a tapestry that disciples need to know about and understand the interrelationships?
Application: It is a temptation to change this from a biblical introspection (like what a journal should be) to a forum for teaching. Facts are, it must be a little of both. The best personal journal entries are those that I can review a year or more later and understand if it still has impact to the face in the mirror.
Every time I write on a set of verses, so that I essentially talk to myself, I try to find what the Spirit is saying. Easy enough, for His Word is life and life pulsates with every word, sentence, and paragraph.
Looking at these 4 verses, I see:
- How much of a controlled doorway is knowing the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- It is Jesus’ decision to reveal himself and only with His decision can someone know Jesus.
- There is an invitation to rest (from what?) in Jesus; and,
- A question occurs with the difference in the invitation of following Jesus in humility just like him (gentle and lowly in heart) and the general declaration of the victorious Savior—or is there a difference at all?
I realize that there are other sections and verses in God’s Holy Word that seem (emphasis on “seem”) to offer a different take. Maybe those “different takes” are more palatable, more acceptable, agreeable, appetizing to my mindset at times. I remember times in my life where I wanted to be a “victorious soldier in Christ” rather than (what I imagined) a “milquetoast, lowly, person of no repute” public persona.
What if (I say to myself) I am supposed to be all of this?
What if (I say to myself) I need to keep in mind the character that Jesus describes of himself (gentle and lowly in heart) and resist the victorious characterization of Jesus for myself?
Wow! I didn’t mean to take this entry in this direction, I just went with where it was leading me. All victory is the LORD’s alone, I am just a tool in the process:
- “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.” (Prov 21:31)
- “But thanks be to God, who GIVES us the victory THROUGH our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57)
- “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty—for all that is in the heavens and in the earth are yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chron 29:11)
But, as a believer, as a disciple, I am to not excel in victorious attitudes (worldly originating attitudes) or feelings, but excel in humility, in laying down my life where perhaps it doesn’t feel right or is reasonable, but follows in the process of conforming to the image of Jesus (Ro 8:29 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined TO BE CONFORMED to the image of his Son…”)
Journaling like this may indicate that I am in for the long haul, not short blasts of inspiration—I can read my history and see where I have been and let the Holy Spirit, through the Holy Word, teach and guide me for the future.
Prayer: Father, revealed by the Son who was revealed by You: Honor and Gratitude be yours forevermore. Thank you for opening my blinded eyes and deaf ears and providing your Holy Word to my rocky heart. Soften my heart, O Lord Holy Spirit.
I hope that this posting reaches those whom you have cultivated. I hope that reading this in my future helps me to straighten out my crooked thinking.
Ricky Two Shoes