The paradoxical invitation of Jesus in Matthew 11 video discussion

The gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 5 in this Year A is another odd selection of verses, Matthew 11.16–19 and 25–30. The lectionary omits the challenging words of Jesus’ judgement of the cities where he has ministered—but in fact these are integral the passage, which explores the paradoxes of Jesus’ ministry and response to it.

Come and join James and Ian as they explore the passage and the issues around reading, hearing, and preaching on it.

Discussion of the first half of the chapter can be found here.

Written discussion of this passage can be found here.

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12 thoughts on “The paradoxical invitation of Jesus in Matthew 11 video discussion”

  1. 1 Shabbat: here is fascinating article from Jews for Jesus, laden as it is with references to Shabbat symbolisim including to “welcoming a person:
    2 Yoke can be seen as sovereignty – see the Jewish Encyclopedia. Taking Jesus yoke is taking his Sovereignty over our lives.
    3 Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, his finished work brings brings rest it can not be bettered improved upon. Jesus is the, our Sabbath rest in him. See also JFJ link above for grounding this in creation. “God’s resting has been described as enjoyment of finished creation.”…
    “The “rest” described in Exodus and throughout scripture is above all a state of peace and fellowship with God. Mere cessation of work does not a mindset make.
    “God’s intention in giving the Sabbath was for Israel to be a microcosm of redeemed humanity, a community beginning to live out the “rest” of a people in intimate fellowship, with Him, despite their continued struggle with sin…..
    To help Israel to understand this ongoing dynamic of redemption and sanctification, God laid down two institutions: the Tabernacle and the Sabbath, explicitly tying the two together -‘You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary.’…
    “Pictures of life in the Garden of Eden, the original place of fellowship with God…to enjoy the Creator…” JFJ
    Jesus is the Sabbath, creator of the Sabbath, and Tabernacle of God. He is God’s rest the place and person of fellowship with God.

  2. REFS. Geoff
    July 5, 2023 at 2:36 pm
    Very well put Geoff. “what does your religion do for you?”Is exactly what you have stated.
    I personally can safely ignore the ARIAN-Non Christian Cult comment that follows your post i.e.
    Pellegrino July 5, 2023 at 5:05 pm

  3. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” is found in Tyndale’s 1526 translation (in that spelling!)

    Perhaps the sense (thus) 500 years ago was related to the verb ‘to ease’, when used to mean to loosen. The yoke is not tight, and does not chafe.

    (BTW, if you can, watch the film about Tyndale – “God’s Outlaw”. There is a DVD available.)

    • ” For the yoke I offer you is a kindly one [Gk. chrestos], and the load I ask you to bear is light.”

      Matthew 11:30 in ” The New Testament : An American Translation”, 1923, by Edgar J. Goodspeed; Professor of Biblical and Patristic Greek, University of Chicago.

      • A ‘kindly yoke’ is not good English. In context the meaning is something like ‘comfortable’ or ‘well-fitting’, but that would be a rather clunky translation. It is hard to better ‘easy’, especially if one bears in mind that (as has been remarked) the translation goes back a long way. The word has a richness of association that has diminished with time. My Shorter OED lists 14 non-defunct variations of meaning, including ’13. Not oppressive; not burdensome’ and ’15. Loosely fitting’. When applied to ‘yoke’ it obviously does not mean ‘not difficult’.

        • Thank you, Dr. Steven.

          Are you trying to tell me that Professor Edgar J. Goodspeed has let me down, regarding the translation of ‘chrestos’ as ‘kindly’ ? Never mind, he couldn’t win them all.

          As a general rule, I like Goodspeed’s version, and he’s also pretty highly rated in Alan S. Duthie’s book, ” HOW TO CHOOSE your bible WISELY.” There seems to be a virtual monopoly on translating ‘chrestos’ as ‘easy’, in English New Testaments. The odd one or two render ‘chrestos’ as ‘gentle’, while Jonathan Mitchell has “kindly obliging”.

  4. In the passage before us we see that Jesus is spitting
    mad, livid. He has a veritable bee in his headgear.
    He has a metaphorical whip of cords in His hands against several cities and the temple rulers [Whom He has a running battle with]
    Suddenly He is completely calm and invites the weary and heavy laden to ;-
    a] take his yoke upon themselves.
    And b] Learn of me that they might find rest for their souls
    We know about the yoke but what does it mean
    “to learn of Me?”
    Well we are told that He is meek and lowly, which is what Mr Pellegrino imagines being “Christlike “to be.
    But what about his spitting madness?
    a] we know he is the Anointed one of whom
    HEB 1:9 says Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

    b] We know that He was the Son of David who wrote
    Psalm 7
    11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
    12 If he turns not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
    13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordained his arrows against the persecutors.
    14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
    15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
    16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
    17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high
    c] We know He is the the Glorified Christ “whose eyes are a “flame of fire and has a “sharp two-edged sword coming out of His mouth” who says to the church of Ephesus
    Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
    And to the church of Pergamos
    Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
    Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
    Prov 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate
    Prov 22:4 By humility AND the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

  5. No one commenting on LEARN OF ME, any ideas?
    OR Is this a vindication of the old Puritan method of hell fire preaching? Preaching damnation then offering the hope of Grace to the seeker?


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