In any case, Happy New Year, 2016!
Two words have been bugging me, ever since I heard them in a sermon in this context: learning from someone rather than just about someone. The verse in the spotlight:
Come to me all who are weary and burdened, 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.
Take my yoke upon you and learn about me....no....learn from me.
Learn from me - Jesus - for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
He didn't say, "learn about me." It was pointed out in this teaching I heard, Jesus didn't say, "Learn about me." Jesus said, "Learn from me."
How do we learn "from" Jesus?
The Bible is definitely a good place to start, but if you're like me, you may have to readjust your goal while using the Bible. I'll be honest, I read the bible to learn ABOUT God. I read the Gospels to learn ABOUT Jesus, his works, his mission, his grace.
To turn it all upside down and now read it to learn FROM God, to learn FROM Jesus.....that's going to take some reorganizing in my brain and my thinking.
It's been easy to learn about God. I know of the things He did starting in Genesis - Creation, the flood, the 10 commands, etc. etc. Even more so do I know the things about Jesus, the things he did - the miracles, the sacrifice, the death, and the resurrection. I know those things about Jesus and God. But what is there to learn FROM the God who would do those things?
It's easy to memorize things about God. Verses that speak of his mercy and love; his grace and truth. Those are easy.
But what is harder is to learn from those verses, not just the first step of memorizing, but then the deeper step of penetrating those same truths into my heart where they become embedded and part of my soul.
I can tell you about mercy. I may have to take more time telling about what I have learned FROM his mercy.
I can tell you about grace, and even give you a good handful of verses to back me up, but it is harder to tell you what I have learned from his grace given to me, without choking up and bawling like a baby.
I can tell you about truth, that Jesus is truth, but to tell you the lies that truth has brought me from is much more personal.
How did Jesus show mercy when He had the absolute power to be unmerciful?
How did Jesus give grace when surely He must have been tempted to lay down the law instead?
How did Jesus continually walk in truth when it surely would have been easier to look the other way at the deceit that taunted him and those he came to save?
I think we American Christians know a lot ABOUT Jesus. We've got the church calendar down pat. We know the order of service. We know the Sundays that tell us the stories we're going to hear for the millionth time. We know ABOUT Him.
What have we learned FROM him?
Isn't it time what we learn from him is equal and surpasses what we have learned about him?
Let's get started, shall we? What do you know about Jesus that you next need to ask yourself, what can I learn from Him? Take your favorite story from the bible. The one you know the best without even having to look it up. Whichever it is tell yourself the story about God. If you know the story of the flood and all the days and details and time frame - great! Now then, what can you learn FROM the story of the flood?
What can you learn from God in relation to the days, the details, the time frame?
What about the story we just celebrated? The birth of Christ. Born as a baby, to a virgin, in a barn. What can we learn from Jesus in this rather than just about the details? We all know the details don't we? What have you learned from the details, from the miracle that the details keep hidden?
What about your favorite story you know can you learn from? These are not just stories to memorize or enjoy hearing or reading or celebrate once a year when the calendar says it's time. These are stories to cause you to learn from your Creator, from your Savior. We would be blessed to not just read the Bible to read about God but to read the Bible to learn from God.
Take His yoke upon yourself and learn from him, for he is gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul.
You will find rest for your soul.