“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30
“REST FOR YOUR SOULS”
Wow, doesn’t that sound fantastic? Who doesn’t want that?
We are all too busy, burdened with overfilled lives, impending deadlines, crushing commitments.
How do we get this elusive REST???
Jesus says we get it by taking His yoke upon ourselves.
So what is this “yoke” thing anyway? And how do we “take it upon us” ???
(Hint: it is not that yellow part in the middle of an egg!)
Quick def. if you’re unfamiliar with these old time farm tools… A yoke is “a wooden beam sometimes used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs, as oxen usually do…” (thank you, Wikipedia!)
The yoke divides the weight of what the two animals are pulling. It allows them to more easily pull something very heavy. It only works if both animals move forward. When one stands still, the yoke gets all crooked and nobody goes anywhere.
So why would Jesus say that in order to get His REST, we must put something on that requires us to WALK forward? Shouldn’t we get into our comfy beds to get some zzzzz’s instead?
Of course, He is talking about rest for our SOULS, completely different than physical rest for our bodies. SOUL REST means things like peace, joy, contentment, hope, healing, victory and serenity.
But still, why a YOKE? Why can’t Jesus just zap the rest onto us while we’re sitting in our Lazy Boy recliner watching TV? Afterall, it is a GIFT, right?
We want quick and easy miracles from Jesus, but He isn’t a fast food God. Jesus is looking for PARTNERS, not freeloaders. He invites us to walk alongside Him through this life. If we accept His invitation, He’ll be right there with us through the good times and the bad. He promises to carry his half (the heavy half!) of the yoke if we let Him. But we have to carry our side of it as well. When we walk TOGETHER with Him, He will give our souls His beautiful rest.