Matthew 11: 16-19: “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17 “‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
18 约翰来了，也不吃也不喝，人就说他是被鬼附着的；19 人子来了，也吃也喝，人又说他是贪食好酒的人，是税吏和罪人的朋友。但智慧之子总以智慧为是。」
“I want my religion my way,” is the tune that most people dance to today. “Not too much law. The law is too oppressive. The law is too restrictive. I like to determine for myself what is right and wrong. And not too much of Jesus, either, because a religion with just Jesus is too narrow minded. I like to take a little bit of something from all the religions in the world.” The people of Jesus’ day were like that, too. They didn’t like John the Baptist, because he called them to repentance. And they didn’t like Jesus, because he ate with tax collectors and sinners.
“我要我的信仰采用我自己的方式，”是当今大多数人拥护的论调。 “不要太多的法律。律法太压抑了。律法太严格了。我喜欢自己决定什么是对错。也不要过多的只讲耶稣，因为一个只有耶稣的宗教太狭隘了。我喜欢从世界上所有的宗教中都提取一点内容。 耶稣同时代的人们也是如此。他们不喜欢施洗约翰，因为他叫他们悔改。他们不喜欢耶稣，因为他和税吏和罪人一起吃饭。
It would be easy to read these verses and condemn the people who want their religion “my way.” But in my sinful nature, I am always tempted to do the same thing. I would rather not look into the mirror of God’s law and see myself for the sinner that I am. Repentance isn’t easy and I would rather avoid it. Jesus invites me to follow him, which means a total commitment on my part. I would rather tag along when it is convenient.
John the Baptist and Jesus may have looked very different, but their message was still the same. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” I am thankful I have a Savior who calls me to repentance and to a life of faith and forgiveness.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, teach me not to expect a “comfortable” faith that does not challenge the leanings of my sinful nature. Lead me to a life of repentance, where I daily drown my sinful nature with sorrow and contrition, and where my new man arises to live before you in righteousness and holiness. I ask this in your name. Amen.
Matthew 11: 25-27: 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
马太福音11:25 那时，耶稣说：「父啊，天地的主，我感谢你！因为你将这些事向聪明通达人就藏起来，向婴孩就显出来。26 父啊，是的，因为你的美意本是如此。27 一切所有的，都是我父交付我的；除了父，没有人知道子；除了子和子所愿意指示的，没有人知道父。
We should not overthink the gospel and the message of salvation in Jesus. The Christian faith is more than a philosophy or a worldview. It is much more profound and at the same time much simpler than a code of ethics or a moral compass by which people should live. The Christian faith is really about a person, a person named Jesus. Everything you want to know about God, you can find in Jesus. God hid himself in Christ so that he could reveal himself through Christ. If you want to know God and not just speculate about him or philosophize about him, then get to know Jesus.
The little children understood that when they sat near Jesus. He took up a child in his arms and told his disciples that they should become like little children if they wanted to inherit the kingdom of God. A small child will either trust you or they will not. They will cling to those they trust and they will run from those they do not. The little children trusted Jesus, because in him they saw their kind and merciful God. Having such a childlike faith doesn’t mean that we want to know less about Jesus. It means we want to learn even more about him, because to know him is to know God. It’s really that simple.
当小孩子坐在耶稣近旁的时候，他们理解了这一点。他怀里抱着一个孩子，告诉他的门徒，如果他们想继承神的国度，他们就应该像小孩子一样。一个小孩子要么信任你，要么他们就不信任。他们会亲附那些他们信任的人，他们会疏远那些他们不相信的人。小孩子信任耶稣，因为在他身上，他们看到了他们善良和仁慈的神。 有这样一个孩子般的信心并不意味着我们要少了解耶稣。 这恰恰意味着我们想更多地了解他，因为认识他就是认识上帝。真的就是那样简单。
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to know you as only someone with a childlike faith can know you. I want to grow in my faith and my knowledge of you every day. But my sinful nature with its pride and its doubts is always getting in my way. Send your Spirit into my heart so that every day my sinful nature can be put to death and my new self with its childlike faith can grow and flourish. I ask this in your name. Amen.
祷告：亲爱的主耶稣，我想了解你，就像有孩子般信心的人那样了解你。我想每天都增进对你的信心和认知。但我的罪性，掺杂着骄傲和怀疑总是阻碍我。 求你把你的灵送进我的心里，这样我的罪性每天可以被杀死，而我的新我，带着孩子般的信心可以成长和健壮。 我奉你的名求。 阿门。
Matthew 11: 28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
马太福音11:28 凡劳苦担重担的人可以到我这里来，我就使你们得安息。29 我心里柔和谦卑，你们当负我的轭，学我的样式；这样，你们心里就必得享安息。30 因为我的轭是容易的，我的担子是轻省的。」
These are well-worn verses in our memories, because Jesus gives us an invitation that beckons our hearts to lay our burdens down at his feet and to receive the rest that only he can give us through the forgiveness of sins. This is the true Sabbath-rest that all the sabbaths in the Old Testament pointed to – not rest for the body, but rest for the soul. The more we learn of Jesus, the more convinced we are that our sins are forgiven. What a joy to get relief from that burden of sin and guilt!
“Take my yoke upon you,” Jesus says. The yoke was used to allow two animals to pull together. Often an older animal was paired with a younger so that the younger learned from him. When we believe in Jesus, we are yoked with him, joined in heart and purpose in our lives. Jesus says that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. What does Jesus ask us to do that we do not find joy and delight in doing it?
“Come to me, and I will give you rest,” Jesus says. Only Jesus can give us rest for our souls!
Prayer: Dear Jesus,thank you for taking the burden of my sin into your body and giving me rest for my soul! All other burdens in this world are light in comparison. The rest you give my soul lets me sleep at night in peace, knowing that all is right with God and with me. I pray that I will never struggle against the yoke that binds me to you forever! Amen.
祷告：亲爱的主耶稣，感谢你把我罪的重担担负在你的身上，让我的灵得安息！相比之下，世界上所有其他的负担都是轻的。 你赐给我灵里的安息让我在夜晚平安入睡，因我知道我已与神和好。我祈祷我绝不会挣脱永远与你同行的这轭！ 阿门。