Imagine if we could discover the most important thing that Jesus wanted us to do. If he sat down with us and said, “Of all the things I want you to do this is the most important.” I wonder what it would be.
The week before I started my sabbatical, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me this. “While you away, I don’t want you to talk to much” And so, I began a rhythm of learning to be silent, a place of solitude. No loud worship or CD’s playing. Hours trying to learning to be still in the presence of my heavenly Father. My honest evaluation is that at times it was overwhelming and at others it was just difficult.
But over this period of time I have started to become aware of something. I’ve become closer to God, my Father in heaven.
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. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “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. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here in this reading in Matthew 11, Jesus says something quite amazing about his Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son.
There were things about his Father that only he knew. There was a closeness about his relationship with his Father that no one else had. It was not about knowledge or information it was about intimacy and being close.
He knew his Father. He felt the heartbeat of his Father. Everyday he walked with his Father. He knew his Father’s voice.
For over 1000 years Jewish writings had said the more you know, the more you will know God. Infact to know God meant you were required to study the Torah and learn the law in detail. In other words to know God was about knowledge and not relationship.
For many Jews this was out of reach. You needed to be educated, trained in languages, the ability to read and write. Jesus came and sliced through this understanding.
Infact He said you just need to be like a little child. “I have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to children.”
Jesus had come to know his Father the way a son does. Not by studying books but by living in his presence. Not learning a religious law but by listening to his voice.
And so Jesus became the access to the Father. He invites us to know His Father the way he does.
Knowing your Father is for the poor, the sinners, the uneducated, the ordinary people, the person on the building site, the person in the office, for the young and the old.
Jesus has become the gateway, the doorway to the Father’s presence. By the law, by a set of rules, by getting as much information as possible. It became like a heavy burden to them.
Jesus says. “Come to me all who are weary, weighed down by the pressure. Take my ways upon you, learn from me. Look at how I do it. I’m gentle and humble in heart. If you do it like me you will find rest and peace. It won’t be heavy, but it will be light.
Knowing Your Father was never meant to be for the few, but for the many. Hearing the Father’s voice was not just for the educated but for everyone.
And Jesus says, “Come to me”. Let me show you.
Learn to be still, be quiet.
Psalm 46:10. Be still and know that I am God.
It’s important for us to “be still” before God, and the only way to do this, especially in our hectic culture, is to do so alone with God.
Let me encourage you to try and create in your life a still place, a place where you find your sanctuary. Maybe just a few minutes everyday where you breathe in and focus on just being in His presence. If you are like me then it be will be challenging and at times hard. But if you persevere you will find it so beneficial and you will start to Know your Father. And that I believe is the most important thing.