I would love to understand the mindset surrounding other cultures…how are they driven? what’s their motivating motto? See Jesus is speaking to all people, from all times, in all places. So these fabulous words carry immense weight into every culture while speaking directly and sometimes very differently depending on the very specific issues of a particular culture.
The worldview I am most familiar with is my own…life in the U.S. Jesus must look at our lives and, saddened by our constant flailing pursuits, He offers not just “another” way but a better way (the best way in fact). He’s speaking to the burdens we’ve heaped upon our shoulders as we strive to define life around us – what’s important/what’s not, and how to achieve those things we’ve thrown into the “important” category.
Jesus’ words regarding people who are truly blessed runs countercultural to life as we know it. He wastes no time by defining the blessed ones as “those who have finally gotten to the place (intentionally or not) where their reliance is no longer on themselves” (you see, like it or not, ultimately there are limits to what we can do/achieve…we do not have an endless supply of energy, ability, maneuvering, insight…eventually the well runs dry and the limit potential is maxed). Jesus already knows that living life that way is not only filled with worrisome striving but exhausts us entirely (mentally, emotionally, physically and, yes, spiritually)…And then comes His welcoming words to us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Far different from the load we heap on ourselves.
Jesus says you are blessed when you choose to live from there, relaxing in Him, and finding comfort in a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask for or imagine. As we rest in God’s promise to not only meet our every need, but in His wisdom to know what our real needs are, the double blessing comes …God faithfully cares for us AND takes that burdensome load of trying to figure it all out ourselves. Out of our lives pours a peace that transcends mere circumstantial-peace. Our lives are no longer characterized by the constant worrying and grabbing for the things we believe we need to get for ourselves…instead we are free first to daily live out God’s real purpose in life, and second, we are free from the heavy load of endless worrying and grasping for ourselves.
In our piece of the world, Jesus words to us are about “relaxing in Him” versus “striving in our own strength & our own (well-intentioned yet very limited & skewed) understanding” which leaves us empty.
Praising God for the better (aka best) way! : )