In 1962 I joined the Sloan Boxing Club that had a gym above a bar on 13th Street somewhere between Capital and Harney. I can’t remember exactly! I worked out there most nights and once in a while on Saturdays. I was 15 at the time turning 16 on January 15th of 1963. The City Golden Gloves Tournament was held on January 25-26. I just made the age cut off by 10 days. There were two requirements we had to meet. We had to be 16 years of age and we had to weigh at or below our weight class. I was a flyweight the lightest of all the classes which was the class of everything up to 112 pounds. I weighed in at 110 ¾ pounds. That was my sophomore year of High School. Now you know why I didn’t do well in football. I met the requirements! Interestingly enough I was the only 16 year old that weighed less than 112 pounds that year. I think I might be the only one, or one of a very few, that hold a Golden Glove Championship title without every throwing a punch or receiving a punch!

In Matthew 11:27 Jesus calls people to come to Him who have met two requirements. They must be “weary and heavy laden” (or overburdened). We don’t often think of those as requirements to Jesus’ call but it seems to me that Jesus didn’t come to heal the healthy. They don’t need Him. He came to heal the sick. Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous. The righteous don’t need Him. He came for sinners.  In the Greek Text the word for “burdened” is a passive voice verb. That means it was something that had happened to you or that someone else had done to you. Jesus used the same word when addressing the religious leaders. In Matthew 23:4 Jesus described the religious leaders: “…they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them.”

I’m so glad that I meet those two requirements also. The burden of religious demands and expectations on me are impossible to bear. I am so tired of trying to live up to standards to which I’ll never be able to measure up. It doesn’t matter how hard I work at it. I always fail. It doesn’t matter how talented I am, I always fail. I’m overburdened and I’m weary. So I come to Jesus! He cleanses me of all my sin and applies to my account His very own righteousness! It’s not a righteousness that I must work for or demonstrate in myself. It’s a perfect righteousness transferred to my account without even having to throw a punch!