Matthew 11:29 “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.”
Here Jesus gives us an invitation. He is inviting us to take His yoke. He does not force us to bear His yoke. He invites us and encourages us. Each day we are given the opportunity to take up many different yokes that the world would gladly place on our shoulders. The yoke of self-reliance. The yoke of a workaholic. The yoke of needing to please those around you. These are all yokes that I have allowed to be put on my shoulders at times. They can be heavy yokes and hard to bear up under. I get worn out and stressed when I choose to carry their burdens. Sometimes the work demanded by a yoke is not God’s will. Sometimes the way the yoke is leading you is not God’s plan. Whether you are doing the wrong thing or doing it the wrong way, it will wear you out in the end. In contrast, Jesus offers a very different yoke. By His yoke we will learn that Jesus is gentle and humble in heart. By His yoke we will find rest for our souls. That’s what we will experience under the yoke of Christ. He does not promise that there will be no burdens to carry or that this life will be without work and effort. But, when we do His work His way, we will experience His gentle love and peaceful rest both in this life and the life to come. Bearing His yoke is a cooperation, a yielding, a submitting, a joining. It is a purposeful and purpose filled life with Christ.
As you look at your life today, are you carrying a yoke other than the one Christ has for you? Are you worn out under the burden of something that was never yours to carry? If so, throw it off today. Let the weight of it fall to the ground and if you need help, ask Him to free you from its hold on you. Now hear Jesus say these words to you, “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.” The invitation is there, take Him up on His offer.