This passage opens up with the phrase, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. This speaks of two kinds of people in his prayer: the “wise” – arrogant in their own knowledge – and the “little children” – humbly open to receive the truth of God’s Word. Are we wise in our own eyes, or do we seek the truth in childlike faith, realizing that only God hold all the answers? God wants us to be open at all times.
When we become too “informed” and “wise” we can sometimes become to sure of our own knowledge, and possibly miss what God is really telling us. The next passage says, “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ” According to my Life Application Study Guide, in the Old Testament, “know” means more than knowledge. It implies an intimate relationship.
The communion between God the Father and God the Son is the core of their relationship. For anyone else to know God, God must reveal himself to that person, by the Son’s choice. How fortunate we are that Jesus has clearly revealed to us God, his truth, and how we can know him. The last major section of this passage reads, “Come to me, all you 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 our souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ”
A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen. It is attached to a piece of equipment the oxen are to pull. A person may be carrying heavy burdens of (1) sin, (2) excessive demands of religious leaders, (3) oppression and persecution, (4) weariness in the search for God, or any number of other problems we may face day to day. The beautiful thing is that Jesus frees people from all these burdens.
The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor. A relationship with God changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose. How wonderful God is, that he will do all these things for us. So many religions and faiths portray God as a spiteful, vengeful God who is constantly needing to be appeased. How thankful I am that I serve a God who cares about me and wants to nurture me and wants to watch me grow into my relationship with him.