28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11 (KJV)
Life can be a burden at times and now is a time that this is true for most people. So, it can be reassuring to see that Jesus is promising rest from our burdens and make our burdens light. However, he says to receive this benefit, we need to do two things – “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.”
As the benefit is very attractive, we thought you might like to know, or confirm, what Jesus means. So this is an outline to the answer that has many facets.
You probably know a yoke is used across the shoulders of beasts of burden so that they can share the load. So Jesus clearly is offering substantial help in easing the weight of our troubles large and small – in fact, to share the load.
But how and what have we to learn from Jesus to receive this important help? Obviously the two oxen in our picture needed to learn to work together. If they tried to go in different directions, or one tried to stop, their task would not get done. Similarly, if we are to achieve the rest that Jesus is offering, we must co-operate with him, that is, ‘learn of him’ what to do, as he said in our quote above. Surely the obvious thing to do is make a friend of Jesus. Especially as he has done such an amazing thing for his friends as he tells them barely a week before his death. Hear what he promised his disciples,
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15
There we see Jesus is talking about his unjust crucifixion on the ‘cross’ – piece of a tree. But why did he do it?
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2
That is what Jesus was talking about in the following words of scripture so often quoted amongst ‘Christians’.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3
So much can be gained from friendship with Jesus, who when he said he “lay down his life for his friends”, went on to say … …
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15
Words that apply, dear reader, to you and me because Jesus said in his prayer for his disciples … …
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. John 17
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