Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
16 “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
17 ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank[i] you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[j] 27 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 anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.” At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 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 anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:16-30)
What a Wonderful World
One of my favourite songs is What a Wonderful World. We even sang it once in our worship service. It is just beautiful. In that song you see the beauty, not only beauty of nature, but the beauty of life. Whenever I hear that song or sing that song . I feel that life is beautiful. So let us look at the words there. I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you and I think to myself, what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night. And I think to myself what a wonderful world. The colours of the rainbow so pretty in the sky are also on the faces of people going by. I see friends shaking hands saying, how do you do? They are really saying, I love you. I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They will learn much more than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. That’s how the song is. Nice song, nice image. But unfortunately the world we live in, it’s not this nice. Sometimes it is cold and cruel. People are not always nice, people are not always kind. Sometimes they’re rude. I don’t see friends always shaking hands. I see friends shaking their fists.
I don’t see just blue skies and white clouds. I see storm and scary dark clouds. I don’t see innocent kids being taken good care of and we enjoy seeing them grow, but I see kids being kidnapped.As we see this world. Can we always say what a wonderful world? Not really, some people say may say what an awful world. We experienced the rejection, betrayal, racism, sexism, bullying, and big disappointment with people and these experiences make our hearts hardened. We don’t easily trust people anymore. We close our hearts to people. Since we don’t like the feeling of pain, we shut down all our feelings and we become numb and desensitized. Not only the feeling of pain is gone, but all feelings are gone. We cannot even feel for life. Listen to what Jesus said about this generation. He said, “We play the flute for you and you did not dance. We wailed and you did not mourn” How accurate his description is about the condition of our heart. We don’t know how to dance. We don’t know how to cry. We are all locked up inside. We may be too busy to feel. We may be so stressed that we don’t want to feel. After this hard work, you come home and you just want to shut down. You don’t want to think. You don’t want to feel. If this keeps going, slowly our hearts will shut down.
We use all our energy to make a living and there is no energy left to take care of our souls, to take care of ourselves, and slowly we become hardened and hardened. You know, to live in this world, there is no problem to function as an emotionally deprived person. You can function still very well. You can work very well, but your emotion gets dried up and your soul gets so dry.
I want to feel for what other people may go through. When we watch news. We hear everyday so many people die here and so many people die there. The kid is kidnapped with his grandparents. We always hear these news about terrible things going on in the world and after awhile you get numb, you get desensitized. They just become numbers. So many die. 20, 30, 100, whatever. They just become numbers. We don’t feel for what they may go through. It is pretty hard to feel anything about other people. We just don’t know how other people may feel. We are losing the ability to feel. Our ability to make money and work efficiently gets better and better, but our ability to feel becomes worse and worse.
Rejoice with Those who Rejoice
Saint Paul said in Romans Chapter Twelve, verse 15, this is what he said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” In other words, dance, when the food is played, cry, when the sorrow is shared. But Jesus saw that we are not able to do that. We have lost the ability to feel for other people feel. When you don’t feel for other people, how can you rejoice with them when they rejoice? How can you weep with those who weep? The degree of our intellectual level from our brain may be very high. You’re very smart people, but the degree of our emotional level may become lower and lower. But I do believe the real intelligence is not in the brain. I do believe that the real intelligence is to know how others feel exactly. Jesus was like that. Jesus wept, Jesus got angry, but he knew exactly how to feel for the situation. I think that is really intelligence. I think that they are the real smart ones, not the people who are smart in the brain. People who know how to feel, what other people feel. Feeling my friends, it’s not just feeling, feeling needs to be trained, otherwise we wouldn’t even know how to feel and our feelings can be very inappropriate. When you should not be angry, you get angry. When you’re supposed to be very happy, you don’t feel any joy.
I remember myself going through that. I was the person who officiated the wedding and there’s a beautiful couple in front of me and there were hundreds of people with beautiful clothes and then they shared laughter and joy. The person who was officiating the wedding, I felt nothing. I felt nothing. People’s laughter that bothered me rather. When we don’t know how to feel, that feeling needs to be trained. When we lose our ability to feel it is the worst feeling. It is much better to feel painful then feeling nothing. When you feel nothing it really drives you crazy. When you’re in pain, when you feel pain, you know what is going on, but when you don’t feel anything, it is a really hard to bear. To feel nothing is to feel no pulse of life and that is death.
Jesus Will Free you of Your Burdens
A few years ago, a middle aged man came to me and said “Reverend, I feel numb. I don’t feel anything. I don’t know what I like and I don’t know what I wanna do. I don’t even know what gives me joy and what satisfies me. I feel nothing. What should I do?” He asked. When you’re not capable of feeling, you cannot truly appreciate the beauty of life. You become victims of hardened heartedness. You become a very harsh person. Jesus pointed this out in verse 18 and 19 “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say he was a demon. The son of man came eating and drinking and they say, look, a glutton and a drunkard. A friend of tax collectors and sinners.” All they did was judgment. They cannot feel for anything. They could have no empathy for others, no connectedness with others here at the heart level. They just judge everything from their brain, but they cannot connect with people at this heart level.
Modern people suffer from this heart and heart. Nothing good can come about, only judgment, criticism, cynicism and negative worldview. People have been too stress out, people have been too busy, they have been too hurt. They have experienced too many failures and defeat. So if you keep going that way slowly, slowly, you’re running towards death, emotional death. My friends, we have good news. This is what Jesus said. “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you’ll find the rest. You’ll find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus can give us the true rest. The modern people have too much in their soul.
Transform your Pain into Compassion, Suffering and Love
Their burdens are too heavy. Their soul is oppressed and depressed. They need the rest. We all need rest. Not just physical rest, but spiritual rest. Spiritual rest. That’s what we need. Jesus said to come to him. All those who are weary and are carrying heavy burden. He said, he’ll give you the rest. He will give you rest. Once you find true rest in Christ, you’ll find you will restore true feelings. Then you can really connect with people at the emotional level, at a real level. You can feel for what other people feel. Being spiritual, it’s nothing complicated. Being spiritual is being alive. All your sense, all your senses come alive. That’s what it means to be spiritual. When you’re spiritual, you can feel it because everything is alive and everything so sensitive. You can feel people’s joy. You can feel everything, even the pain. When you’re spiritual, you can feel the pain much more clearly. That’s why you can feel the pain for the pain of other people. When other people are going through suffering, you feel the pain, but the pain does not remain as pain, but the pain is transformed into compassion, suffering, love.
So we need to restore that spiritual senses. Our senses need to come alive so that we may be connected with each other and we may be connected with God. Come to Jesus and find true rest. Don’t just run and run and run. Once in a while, stop and think about it. Do you feel what you feel. Many people don’t even know what they feel inside. So many things going on. They don’t even know what’s going on in their hearts. Do you feel what you feel inside? Find true rest in Christ, come to him. He will give you rest and then you’ll find true joy of life.