Jesus says: 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30)
The idea of taking a yoke on you, sounds oppressive. Until we realise there’s a sense in which all of us are already yoked to something. All of us take good gifts from God, and live as though those things, rather than God are ultimate things. We can yoke ourselves to money or success, or the opinions of others, or a relationship or even to our family as if any of these are the most important thing in life. None of these can bear the weight of expectation we put on them. Coming to Jesus means making him our first priority, being willing to submit to him and learn from him, recognising that he knows us better than we know ourselves, he knows what is best for us.
Being a Christian can often be hard. How is Jesus’ yoke easy? It’s easy in the sense that he’s already done all that is needed to make us right with God. It’s easy in the sense that Jesus will give us the power to do whatever he wants us to do. It’s easy in the sense that there’s a joy that comes from serving Jesus as you grasp all he’s done for you, and as you realise you are now doing what you were made for. It’s easy because Jesus is gentle and humble. He’s not a tyrant who hates those who serve him. He humbled himself to be born as a human. He humbled himself to die for all who would turn and trust in him, those who would be willing to yoke themselves to him and learn from him. It is in coming to Jesus and being willing to learn from him, that our souls find the true rest that we long for.
(Other posts on Matthew 11:28-30: Part 1 Rest for the weary and burdened, Part 3 Rest for the weary – forgiveness illustrated )
References: God is better than all