08 Apr A Yoke and a Burden
Read Matthew 11:25-30
Thought for the Day: Jesus invites me to bring my problems to Him!
In the First Century, work animals were fitted with yokes. These were large wooden beams that allowed an animal to pull a heavy cart. As you may imagine, the life of one of these animals was typically harsh, restless, and short. Simultaneously, the Jewish people living through challenging times in the First Century found themselves captives in their own land. While they were not forced to wear physical yokes, the weight of the occupying Roman force felt equally oppressing. Similar to animals pulling heavy carts, the Jewish people lived with a heavy burden of shame and felt little sense of peace or rest.
When Jesus led His earthly ministry, He knew that the people he encountered wanted true peace. They longed for rest. Living under the weight of crushing burdens, the Jewish people continually struggled with the guilt of feeling that “I’m not good enough.” They literally felt helpless against the Roman government. But instead of offering to kick Rome out of their lands, Jesus offered something better. He offered a real and lasting remedy for their guilt when He said, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
The question for us is the same. Are we bringing our burdens to Jesus or are we attempting to carry them ourselves? When we try to carry the weight of our problems, we get overwhelmed. We start to realize we are not strong enough, good enough, or smart enough. We end up feeling tired and restless. Instead, let’s take Jesus’s advice: we can bring our problems to Him as His yoke is easy (so much easier than taking things on ourselves and feeling like “I’m not good enough”) and His burden is light.
Pastors Stan and David