Yesterday I mentioned Jacob’s fear and worry that his own family might do him harm. In today’s reading from Genesis we see the result of the huge relief Jacob feels when his brother Esau welcomes him when Jacob had feared he might have wanted to kill him instead. Jacob is so relived that he weeps, in fact they both do. The weight of the worry on Jacob’s shoulders had been enormous, he had placated his Uncle and made a covenant with him, he had tried to pacify his brother with a massive gift of livestock and he had spent the night before in intense prayer – physically wrestling with God…
This is the kind of thing Jesus is promising to help us carry when he says “come and take my yoke upon you”. He is saying, ‘let me share the work’, or the worry, or the stressful situations or what ever it is that you feel is too heavy for you to carry. He is saying he’ll go through it with you, right beside you and he will take the greatest strain.
Genesis 33:1-4 NLT
Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
It is because Jesus is humble and gentle at heart that he can demonstrate his promise to give rest to the weary and heavy laden. When people are tired and worried the last thing they need is to be confronted with arrogance, pride and aggression. If I am to be able to demonstrate the love and compassion that Jesus teaches, I must somehow learn to be humble and gentle of heart…
Genesis 32:13-34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalms 14:1-7, Proverbs 3:19-20