Recently, I’ve been reading a book about Jesus’ character called, ‘Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers’ by Dane Ortlund. In it I discovered there’s only one recorded time in the whole of scripture that Jesus describes His own character. There are many instances of others describing Jesus, but this is the only time He tells people who He is. Given this moment to share His heart Jesus chose to say He was ‘gentle’ and ‘lowly’ (or in many translations ‘humble’). Ortlund adds, ‘The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ.’
This truth is emphasised when we see what Jesus said earlier in this passage: ‘Come to me, ALL you who are weary and burdened’. Jesus wanted us to know that without doubt, no matter where we come from, where we are, or how much of a hole we’ve dug ourselves into, there’s always an open invitation to come to Him.
Matthew 11 adds, ‘For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’. One thing Ortlund draws from this is that the word for ‘easy’ can also be translated as ‘kind’. How amazing is that! When we head towards Jesus, we can be confident that we will be greeted with kindness and that our journey will be easier with Him by our side. Approachable and kind – two attributes of Jesus’ character that He chose to emphasise above all else. I pray we would all continue to grasp this truth more completely. I think life would be easier if we did.