An "Easy" Yoke, 1/3

Matthew 11:28-30
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.

“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… and you will find rest for your souls.”

When we take up his yoke, we are binding our lives to Jesus and submitting to wherever he leads. His work may not be the work we had in mind, but we are no longer our own masters, and his way brings rest for our souls. Rest doesn’t always come right away – there are things we must learn, habits we must break – but it is the main promise of this verse. Maybe this is why Jesus invites those “who labor and are heavy laden,” because they will recognize the rest that he gives them. This rest he promises is not a vacation but a redirection of purpose that builds up and bears fruit and allows us to persevere knowing our efforts will not be wasted. It is remarkable how generous this offer is, but also how difficult, for we are used to straining on our own, doing the best that we can and resigning ourselves to the consequences. But it is important to note that Jesus doesn’t say that he’ll come to us and help us, but that if we come to him he will set us free from our striving – we must leave our past work behind. Yes, he is the shepherd who goes after the lost sheep to bring it back to the herd, but this is not an endorsement for us to choose our own way – it is a testimony to his grace. When he calls us back to him or guides us back on the right path, we must submit to his guidance and obey his boundaries. THIS is the rest Jesus promises.

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