Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest
The cry of Jesus is that those who are exhausted and burdened should come to Him to find rest, that is — Sabbath. The ironic part of the verse is the implicit suggestion that the reason that you are burdened, weary, and stressed is that you have internal goals, ego needs, and selfish desires that will not allow you to rest.
The next verse says that when you come to Jesus he will give you a different yoke than the one that you have at present. It is your present yoke that is making you weary. You are carrying a burden that is too heavy for you in order to impress others with your abilities and strength. We are to come to Jesus and have him take the overreaching yoke and put on the right yoke. In fact, not just the right one, but one that feels too light and too easy to carry.
The consistent thing Jesus says about the yoke of Christ is that it is easy and doable with less than half of your strength. It is, however, very difficult because it does not meet any ego needs, selfish desires, and/or selfish internal goals.
The interesting thing about Jesus’ yoke is that it was actually the yoke that He did carry. He was God and was willing to do a job that was well within his specifications. He was to walk around and teach a few people, live a perfect life, and give up his human body to be killed. Jesus’ earthly life never strained him in the least. In fact, it was easy and light. But He needed to be meek and humble to live it out. It was the assignment that the Father gave Him and even though it did not display His powers, wonders, or perfection, He was to do it.
The assignment itself was easy and light, but it required that He not be interested in displaying that He was God and that He really was more important than anyone around Him. “Don’t you know who I am?” At any moment He could have handled His life differently, with angels visiting Him and supernatural power changing His circumstances. But He was not power or prestige hungry. He did not need to be in charge or in command. He was flexible and submissive to the Father’s will.
Jesus is saying that much of our weariness is because we are trying to service our ego needs and selfish desires rather than just doing what God has asked us to do and leaving the awards, commendations, recognition, our place in the command structure, and progress on our happiness to HIM.
At times we struggle with how easy and light the work of the Lord is. There is no ability to show off our prowess, to display our real abilities and importance — just simple service. We want to be presented with challenges and with opportunities to show off how talented and perseverant we are. God just requires obedience. God just requires that we love those who He brings across our path.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.
* In order to protect the future book I need to copyright the material but I give complete freedom to share these blogs to whoever you think they might encourage.