Thursday, March 11

The yoke of Jesus

Scripture: Numbers 21-22, Matthew 11

Matthew 11:27–30  “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. 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Observation

It’s been called “a Johanine thunderbolt in the synoptic sky.”  V. 27 sounds very much like something the apostle John would write, and reminds me of John 14:6, where Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”  And John 14:9 “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  Here, Jesus says that no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.  You can’t know the Father without Jesus—He is the way to God.

Then immediately Jesus says, “Come to me.”  After saying that only those to whom He chooses to reveal the Father can know Him, Jesus invites us to come to Him.  He throws open the door—anyone who comes to Jesus can know the Father.  He is the way to God.

The “weary and burdened” could refer to those who are weary and burdened by life itself—all of us at one time or another.  Or it could refer to those who were burdened by religious requirements that left them no closer to God, just weary.  

Jesus invites us to take His yoke (become His disciples, His apprentices, and follow Him) and learn from Him.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  We will not only know the Father, but find rest for our souls.   

Application

The application is in the verbs:

“Come to me.”  Jesus is the way to the Father—come to Jesus, not just once, but daily.  Keep coming, for the life you seek is found in Jesus.

“Take my yoke.”  This was a common metaphor for apprenticing or becoming someone’s disciple.  A yoke was used to bind two animals together for pulling a plow or wagon.  Often a younger or weaker animal was paired with an older or stronger animal in order to learn and be helped.  We are yoked to Jesus.

“Learn from me.”  This is the essence of discipleship; a disciple is a learner.  As disciples of Jesus, we learn from Him—every day.  We are attentive to Jesus, eager to listen and learn and do what He says.  We watch and listen to become more like Him.  

Rather than the burden of endless rules and regulations, we are offered the yoke of Jesus, a relationship with One who loves us and wants to lead us into life to the full.  His yoke is easy, His burden is light.

Prayer: What a wonderful promise Lord!  Help me today to be Your apprentice, coming to You, taking Your yoke, learning from You.