14A20. Zechariah 9:9-10. “Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!” There is great joy because the Hebrew captives have been set free from slavery in Babylonia. Their king comes but not as a military victor, but as a meek and humble savior. His rule encompasses everything and everyplace but not by the power of armed force.
Matthew 11:25-30. In the verses before this, Jesus rebukes those who have not accepted him despite the mighty deeds and miracles he had performed. They thought they were so wise that there was nothing they could learn from Jesus. “All things have been handed over to me by my Father.” Jesus was made the fount of divine wisdom given to him by God the Father. The greatest of all knowledge is to know God, the divine Person. That knowledge is the closeness of one person to another that makes us dear to one another. It is the meeting of hearts, minds and wills. Jesus was given the power to reveal or to make known the Father to us so that we would be able to develop a close relationship with the Father as he himself had.
“Come to me, you who labor and are burdened, and I will you rest.” As the God who is love, he embraces us to relieve us from a life that can weigh us down and can even oppress us. He never seeks to overwhelm us but to love us into a deep, intimate relationship with him. He is “meek and humble of heart.” He is the caring shepherd who tends his flock. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” We are the flock who obediently follow our Savior through this world to heaven.
Romans 8:9, 11-13. “Brother and Sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Biology lists us as an animal of this earth; physically we have all the bodily functions that all the animals of the earth have. Spiritual life that the Holy Spirit instills in us raises us to be a heavenly people, even while we live on this earth. What Paul ends up saying is stark. “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Prayer enables us to live by the Holy Spirit as we endlessly during the day talk to him, petition him, plead with him, cajole him, and laugh with him. The truth is that we were created to enjoy our loving God for all eternity and not a casket in the ground with the worms.