I am gentle and humble in heart

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic Mass, Mt 11,25-30 (in iItalian)  is read.

Jesus himself tells that teaches with a humble hearth. He does not yell and impose with “tooth”.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

 

Matthew 11: 25-30 says 

 11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.
11:26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.
11:27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
11:28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, andI will give you rest.
11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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The message

Jesus gave the following  messages after having denounced the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, Betsaida and Capernaum, “in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they didn’t repent”. (Matthew (11:20-24)

11:25 … “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.

The word infants sounds like a metaphor for people who like children, have no higher understanding nor wisdom, humans who had to fight to survive, like poors and oppressed, those “who labor and are heavily burdened” (11:28). Jesus talked to and teached these humans about the Kingdom of God.

11:26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.

11:27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.

Why did Jesus said “my Father” for God?
His father was most probably Joseph who later became father for several  brothers and sisters of Jesus.

At the cross Jesus called God “Eloi” as in Aramaic Eloì Eloì, lamà sabachtanì”. 

May the Gospel authors have changed his word for God to “Father” to emphasize the dogma of Jesus’ physical origin and the horrible sexistic dogma of virginity in the Mariology? But for anyone, especially for Jesus, God can be a spiritual father.

So may he have used the name Father to indicate “Spiritual father”?

Another interesting part is the last verse:

neither does anyone know the Father, .… and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.

masculine “he” is not used.
The greek version that says:

neither does anyone know the Father, …. and the one to whom the Son desires to reveal him.”

So not only Jesus knows God but also the  one whom the Jesus desires to reveal him.

11:28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

,Many came to him because of this also later in the Roman Empire where many poor Romans suffered martyrship following Jesus commandments.

11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly (humble) in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

He reminds that his teaching comes with a humble voice, not with a threatening one like tooth for tooth as he said in Matthew 5:38

for I am gentle and humble in heart;

This is my criterium for evaluating the Gospel texts. If the supposed words of Jesus, does not sound humble and intelligent, I reject these.

This is the reason I am skeptic about this bragging part:

11:27 ….neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son and…

11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

To follow his teaching is not easy or light.

But Jesus feels maybe his yoke as easy as he feels support from God.

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conclusion

Many Christians do not follow Jesus when he says:

  • I am gentle and humble in heart
  • I will give you rest.

I have tried to be humble as a teacher, my last years before retirement, with my student. And that had surprising effects. One of my students who did many bad things in class once said to me
“I love you”.

Pope Francis uses the same approach and we see the results. A friend of mine who is a atheist said about Pope Francis “He talks like Jesus”.

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