When you think about someone’s heart, you are thinking about the very core of their being, what drives them to do things in their world. We unwittingly refer all the time to people’s hearts: “That person is kind hearted or “That person has a proud heart” or “That’s a generous hearted person”.
Throughout the 4 Gospels we find out a lot about what Jesus thinks and how He acts but there is only one reference to what His heart is like. It’s this one:
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29 NKJV).
We aren’t even told that he’s peaceful or joyful but gentle and lowly which give us the idea that Jesus is tender and humble, that He is God-reliant rather than self-reliant. Jesus is approachable. He is like us. He doesn’t lord it over us for He is one of us. If Jesus is just like us, then we can be perfectly open to Him.
Just before Jesus told us that He was gentle and lowly in heart, He welcomed us to get near to Him:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (v 28). Jesus wants to take from us all the things that have been done to us and He wants all the things that we have done to others that weigh us down. He wants us to cry to Him for help, no matter what it is.
Nothing is in the too hard basket and we know His response to us will always be gentle. That was His declaration. If we come to Him, He will gently embrace us with all of our insecurities and fears, doubts, anxieties and failures.
As we put on the yoke of Jesus and experience His kindness and gentleness, we start to show that kindness and gentleness to others. The more we live the Christian life with Jesus beside us, the more like Him we get.
I’m old enough to have seen bullock teams yoked together and ever so slowly hauling logs down winding mountain roads.
“A cloud of dust on the long white road, And the teams go creeping on Inch by inch with the weary load; And by the power of the green-hide goad The distant goal is won. With eyes half-shut to the blinding dust, And necks to the yokes bent low, The beasts are pulling as bullocks must; And the shining tires might almost rust While the spokes are turning slow.” (“The Teams” by Henry Lawson).
When the bullocks are yoked, every bullock pulls equally to shift the load along the road but with Jesus beside us, He does all the pulling for us. He gives us a non-yoke so that we have a non-burden. His deepest heart is to be gentle and lowly towards us and I, for one, like that!