Verse of the Day (December 28, 2019) #BMSeminary – Jesus now invites all who hear or read his words to experience the refreshment of being his disciple. His metaphor is drawn from the world of field work, where the labor is hard and the loads difficult for man and beast. Within the context of Matthew’s Gospel, this imagery probably refers to the heavy load of religious observances that the scribes and Pharisees had bundled together and placed on people’s backs (23:4). The Mosaic law itself was not intended to be burdensome to keep (Deut. 30:11) but a delight and a blessing to the humble person who trusted God (Ps. 19:7–11; 119). The scribes and the Pharisees, however, had twisted God’s law into a means of self-congratulation and showing off, by observing it in unnecessarily ostentatious ways devised by “learned” calculation (Matt. 23:5, 16, 18, 23, 25, 29–30). Those who were not learned—the “little children” to whom Jesus referred in 11:25—would likely have experienced the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees on these matters as burdensome. Jesus offers relief to his disciples from the burden of religious observance as a means of attaining self-worth. Learning from Jesus is more like rest than work because Jesus, unlike the scribes and Pharisees, is meek and humble. This passage is the only place in all four Gospel accounts where Jesus tells us about his heart—and he says it is “gentle and lowly” (v. 29). He is ready to help all those who are themselves humble enough to admit their need of his mercy and grace. Indeed, he delights to do so.