My Yoke is Easy

Zechariah 9:9-12
Psalm 145:8-15
Romans 7:15-25a
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

 

Does Jesus give us permission to sin?

Yes and no. When I sin, I have turned away from God. In that sense, the answer is no. But Jesus redefined sin. He gives us comfort when we ask for it. He helps us understand the difference between what our society thinks is sinful and what God finds offensive.

Few Christians would say that murder is acceptable, but we do accept self-defense as a loophole. Killing people in war is not considered murder. We rarely remember that Jesus said, anyone who is angry with his brother must stand his trialPhillips God does not want us to kill people.

If having a nasty thought about a person is evil, what hope is there for any of us? With Paul, we say, For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. ESV We live in a sinful world, but we also have sin within us. We can do the Pharisee thing and isolate ourselves from other sinners, but that does nothing to reduce our own sin.

Jesus does not want us to sin. He does not give us permission to sin, but he comforts us when we do sin. He is like a sponsor in AA; Jesus helps us through the sins we commit and does not beat us up for failing.

Again, with Paul we say, Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and doesMSG

This was the promise made centuries before Jesus was born. In Psalms we read, Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full of faithful loveNJB God’s love is so great He loves us even as we sin. What’s more, He has a plan that will put an end to sin so that we can live with Him as Man and Man’s Companion did in the Garden.

Zechariah wrote God’s promise about the Messiah this way: Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkeyNJB

The Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus, came to save us from ourselves. I can choose to follow him, but I cannot stop sinning. I can sin less, but never be free on this side of the New Jerusalem.

See my comments on the New Testament portion of today’s scripture from June 29, 2014 here.

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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