One of the reasons his teachings are so demanding is that he isn’t simply imparting new knowledge and new information. He is commanding us to follow His Way. Remember that the early church was called The Way? Not, My Way or Your Way. But His Way. And that way can be a way that few will follow.
In the 10th chapter of Matthew, which we focused on in worship yesterday, Jesus laments that many have rejected his invitation. They have mocked him and derided him when he held out his hand to beckon them to come along. “He demands too much,” is their criticism.
And yet Jesus makes the astounding claim that his burden is light and his yoke is a gift. How can he say that? To have the yoke of his love around our necks moves us in the right direction, he implies. Shouldering that yoke of his binds us together and steers us to that place which God is drawing us, he suggests.
His teachings, when we first hear them, sound like an impossible burden. But they become a means toward that lightness of being for which we were created. Think of discipleship as an adventure. We get to serve among those who are sent forth where he himself is about to go. Go ahead, receive the blessed burden of discipleship!