GodReflection: God The Nurturer
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 (Matthew 11:29).
I’m a city guy. I’ve never liked to cut weeds. I am among the first generation of our family who grew up away from the farm. Even so, I love the imagery Jesus uses with the yoke. “Take my yoke on you and learn from me.”
It’s an invitation to walk and work in tandem with Jesus. Side by side, joined at the neck so my eyes can follow where he goes. Side by side with Jesus we are in the presence of God the Nurturer. The God-Son Jesus teaches where I am to look and what I am to learn to receive life sustenance from the Holy.
I read in one of Timothy Keller’s books a statement similar to: “Jesus came to earth to showcase the perfect life God designed us to live had sin not entered the world.”
“That’s it exactly”—I shouted from within. That is precisely what God did when he came to earth to live as a man and to defeat sin and death.
He was perfect man who came to show us what a sinless walk looked like. He invited us to be yoked with him to learn perfection. To catch the vision of life without sin and death.
A part of salvation’s here and now in this life is we, who cast our lot with Jesus, can start to experience God’s perfect design. No, we don’t get it all right. While on earth we will not reach perfection, even in our own eyes.
However, to the degree we make Jesus-like decisions, we begin to see incremental growth in righteous thought and behavior. We live moments of perfection. We get a taste of how life will be after Jesus returns to reign over his renewed perfect creation.
If to live in perfection as God designed me to live is my future, doesn’t it make sense I should begin to learn from the Holy how to do so? To learn from the Master opens a direct line of sustenance from the Divine.
It seems to me every time we do right and good (which is perfection) we become a tad more like God’s original design for us.
Thus, something happens inside that makes me want to increase growth toward perfection. I’m nourished. I’m drawn toward Jesus. That can only take place as I learn from the Holy.
I believe this is at the heart of Paul’s point to first century Christians who composed the Corinthian church. By the time I reach 2 Corinthians chapter five, I’ve read about the most imperfect church described in my New Testament.
Yet, they were saved. Yes, they still had work to do to learn from Jesus. Yes, there were already members of the new creation—even though complete and restored perfection was still in their eternal future. So, Paul encourages them and us as he writes:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
Yoked with the perfect Jesus I learn from him. Yoked with the perfect Jesus the Holy gives me space to grow. In yoke with the perfect Jesus I get more and more comfortable with perfection as I learn from him—with God’s assurance—that my stumbles and missteps don’t count. God only sees the yoke of perfection.
God is the nurturer. Yes, perhaps the principle source of divine sustenance is to learn from the Holy. Jesus tells me nurture happens when I am yoked to the only perfect man who has walked on the earth. I learn from him.
What if we thought of the yoke as a gift that enables life sustenance rather than as a burden? What would you add? What am I missing?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Divine Sustenance—Learn from The Holy