Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of October 15, 2006


burdens hard to bear

 

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  Matthew 23:4

 

Jesus was speaking about the scribes and Pharisees who sat in Moses’ seat. They taught the law of Moses. Their teachings were laying heavy burdens that were hard to bear on the shoulders of their listeners.

 

To bring the statement of Jesus into a modern-day setting, imagine the following:

 

A Sunday school class is studying the Ten Commandments. The teacher asks a member of the class to read the first one. Then all of the class discusses the command. After the discussion each member states that he understands the command and that he will obey it.

 

As the class continues, the remaining nine commands are read. Each command is followed by a discussion and then each person indicates that he understands the command and that he will obey it.

 

This class has just re-enacted what the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day did. Heavy burdens that were hard to bear were laid on the shoulders of the class members. Evaluate the class session by the words found in Romans 5:20.

 

… the law entered that the offense might abound.

 

The members of this imaginary class will not obey the Ten Commandments. They cannot. They have, however, brought into prominence their own sin nature. Like Paul’s statement in Romans 7:15, they will not understand what has happened to them spiritually.

 

Jesus said of the scribes and Pharisees who taught the law:

 

… they themselves will not move them [the heavy burdens] with one of their fingers.  Matthew 23:4

 

The imaginary class would not have known how to move the heavy burdens. If they had known, during the class discussions they would have pointed to their oneness with Christ for grace to keep the commands.