Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 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.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF.
- What heavy burden am I carrying all by myself?
- Has the hard work of bearing my burdens tiring me out?
- Have I yoked myself to the wrong persons or things?
Jesus is not speaking here of physical burdens. Rather, it was the heavy burden of the system of works that the Pharisees laid on the backs of the people that Jesus was offering to relieve.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for laying heavy burdens on the shoulders of the people (Matthew 23:4).
The “yoke of the Pharisees” is the burdensome yoke of self-righteousness and legalistic law-keeping.
Jesus was saying that any kind of law-keeping is burdensome and amounts to a “heavy yoke” of oppression because no amount of law-keeping can bridge the gap between our sinfulness and God’s holiness.
No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law.
Rom 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
Rom 3:22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
JESUS GIVES US REST AND PEACE.
Spiritual rest here, peace of conscience, ease of mind, tranquility of soul, through an application of pardoning grace, a view of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, and full atonement of sin by his sacrifice; and eternal rest hereafter.
The yoke of Jesus is light and easy to carry because it is the yoke of repentance and faith followed by a singular commitment to follow Him.
As the Apostle John says……..
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
His perfect obedience is applied (imputed) to us through faith, just as His righteousness was exchanged for our sin at the cross.
2Co 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ, thereby making the yoke of Jesus easy and His burden light. The life lived by faith is a much lighter yoke and a much easier burden to carry than the heavy and burdensome yoke of self-righteousness under which we continually strive to make ourselves acceptable to God through works.
If we go into the Greek text, we can see that this word ‘yoke’ comes from the Greek root word Zeugnymi to join –coupling – Strongs G2218 Zugos – which means to connect, to join together. Beam of balance.
The implication is that if we yoke ourselves to Jesus (a yoke joins two draft animals) we have Him to labor with us at our sides. When yoked together, the two animals must go in the same direction and be united in their efforts. What a marvelous analogy, that we should go in the same direction as Jesus!
Example of a yoke.
The two animals on which the yoke was placed were different. One of the animals always was more experienced than the other. This animal provided the direction, leadership, help, and training for the unlearned member of the team. While the more experienced animal provided the leadership and direction, both animals worked together to pull the load.
Jesus certainly provides what our souls need…
To remove anxiety, Jesus offers peace to calm the troubled heart.
A peace unlike any that the world might give.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
A peace stronger than any tribulation the world might bring.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
A peace which guards our hearts and minds, and “surpasses all understanding”
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
2Co 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.