Discover His heart: His yoke is easy and His burden is light
I fondly remember the first time I walked into a bakery in Paris and viewed the vast array of French pastries. Be still my heart! As I walked back and forth in front of the pastries, I saw chocolaty éclairs, buttery croissants, eggy sweet brioche, nutty tarts and many other delectable sweets. Choosing just one was painful, but for the sake of my well-being, it was necessary to decide on just one.
That’s how I felt today reading Matthew because it holds so many great truths from the words of Jesus Himself. How do I choose to share about just one? Fortunately, many of the His truths from our reading today are woven together into one great thought. By the way, at the bakery, I chose the Chocolate Almond Croissant with that gooey creamy filling – a little bit of everything together in one great pastry!
@ Matthew 11
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”(28-30) These verses spoken by Jesus and found only in Matthew are some of the most comforting words in the Bible to me. The burdens of this life can be difficult to carry, but Jesus offers a remedy for us.
There is a yoke of responsibility that comes with living on this earth and living for God, and those who attempt to live a yoke-free life often shirk their responsibilities and live only for themselves. One might think that those already bearing a heavy burden certainly don’t need the burden of yet another yoke, but Jesus was saying try my yoke instead, trade your yoke of heaviness. A yoke is simply the framework used to carry a load, and a proper yoke is an easy yoke, one that balances the load and makes the task much easier. This is the yoke that Jesus offers us.
In the following chapter, Jesus went on to give examples of the yokes that burden us and make us weary. The man-made laws of the Pharisees did not allow the disciples to pick wheat for lunch nor did they allow Jesus to heal a man on the Sabbath. Those with a religious spirit are always more concerned about legalistic rituals than they are about man’s needs and they have little desire for the supernatural work of God. Jesus said, “You would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’”(7) His yoke is easy and full of mercy.
The parables of Jesus that followed were examples of what He meant by, “Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” For all those who would take the yoke of Jesus and learn from Him, they would be good soil and reap a great harvest. (13:23) The parables of mustard seed faith, planting good seeds, hidden treasures, the pearl of great worth and all His teachings are words that will bring understanding to our hearts and lighten the load we carry.
The difference between the yokes of this world with their heavy burdens and the yoke that Jesus offers to us is that it is balanced by His merciful love. Yes, without a doubt, to follow Him we must keep His commandments, but in the keeping of them, He gently guides us along in the process. So Jesus says to us today, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,” cast away the yokes of man’s rituals and expectations and the taunts from the enemy, throw away the yokes that make you heavy and downhearted, take my yoke, and be light and easy. Jesus has made us an offer we really can’t refuse.
Moving Forward: I won’t wear the yoke of heavy burdens today because I’ve chosen to wear His yoke, and I feel as light as a feather.
Tomorrow @ Romans 11-12