The King Is Coming
9 Rejoice, people of Jerusalem.
Shout for joy, people of Jerusalem.
Your king is coming to you.
He does what is right, and he saves.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
He is on the colt of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the horses from Jerusalem.
The bows used in war will be broken.
The king will talk to the nations about peace.
His kingdom will go from sea to sea,
and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
11 My people, I made an agreement with you
and sealed it with the blood of sacrifices.
Because of this, I will set your prisoners free from captivity,
which is like a dry pit.
12 You prisoners who have hope,
return to your place of safety.
Today I am telling you
that I will give you back twice as much as before.
15 I do not understand the things I do. I do not do the good things I want to do. And I do the bad things I hate to do. 16 And if I do not want to do the bad things I do, then that means that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I am not really the one who is doing these bad things. It is sin living in me that does these things. 18 Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good. But I do not do them. 19 I do not do the good things that I want to do. I do the bad things that I do not want to do. 20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing those things. It is sin living in me that does those bad things.
21 So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. 22 In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in my body. That law makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and that law makes me its prisoner. 24 What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? 25 God will. I thank him for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law. But in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
16 “What can I say about the people who live today? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group calls to the other,
17 ‘We played music for you, but you did not dance;
we sang a sad song, but you did not cry.’
18 John came, and he did not eat like other people or drink wine. And people say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came, eating and drinking wine, and people say, ‘Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much. He is a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’ But wisdom is proved to be right by the things it does.”
Jesus Offers Rest to People25 Then Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. I praise you because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and smart. But you have shown them to those who are like little children. 26 Yes, Father, this is what you really wanted.
27 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son—only the Father knows the Son. And no one knows the Father—only the Son knows the Father. And the only people who will know about the Father are those whom the Son chooses to tell.
28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Accept my work and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will find rest for your souls. 30 The work that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is not heavy.”
Who here has never done anything wrong, never disobeyed, never broke a rule, never been bad? If we are honest with ourselves, no one should have their hand up, including me. If everyone of us has done wrong, why did we do it? Think of the last time you got in trouble, think of the rule that you broke. Did you know the rule before you broke it? Did you want to break the rule? What about doing good things, or rather not doing good things? Have you ever seen someone who is sad, or who was hungry, or even just wanted a toy? What should you do when this happens? Should you try to cheer them up, offer them some of your food, or share a toy you have? Yes, you should try to help them, but do we always try to help when we see the need? Again, none of us should have our hands up. Just like Paul, “I do not do the good things I want to do. And I do the bad things I hate to do.” We are all torn because it is the human part of us that does wrong, we are all confused, we all fail to understand, just like children. “I want to do the things that are good. But I do not do them. I do not do the good things that I want to do. I do the bad things that I do not want to do.” Jesus knows this, he knows that we are not able to follow the law, God’s will, on our own. We need God’s help to do this. And we can only seek God’s help if we are like children. “I praise you because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and smart. But you have shown them to those who are like little children.”
So why do we do things that we know are wrong? Why we do we do things that will make us feel bad? Why do we not do things that we know we should, and will feel equally bad for not doing? We cannot do it alone, not each of us alone, not all of us as only people. Jesus offers help, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. Accept my work and learn from me.”