Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Do you ever get overwhelmed during the course of your day? Does caos push you towards your Savior or away from your Him? When you are consumed with the failures of your life and your can’t feel good about yourself in the moment, how do you become fit for service? Physical fitness is a great metaphor for spiritual fitness. They both require a consistent daily commitment to working out. You get fit for Service when you “work out your own salvation” with a daily commitment to stay yoked up with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His yoke is easy and his burdens are light. We realize just how sufficient His grace and mercy is to us when we are willing to stay fit spiritually to serve Him.
The answer to these questions is found in Jesus’ directive to the Hebrews in the text above. It is helpful to know that Jesus was giving them an alternative to the traditionalism and ceremonialism associated with the legalistic platforms of the Hebrew elders at the time of His earthly ministry. The rites associated with legalism among them were burdening them to the point where they were in yokes of bondage that were detrimental to their service to Him. The bondage of legalism – a human response to sin sickness – categorized them as sinners in need of becoming fit for service. The Hebrews did not have the gift of God living in their individual spirits at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry like we do today.
They were “overwhelmed” with the consciousness of their transgressions, the constant external and internal berating over their sinful past and their unrealized spiritual condition being dead in their tresspasses and sins. At the point in the text they were trembling at the peril of the dangers of sin, and seeking deliverance. Why? The death of John the Baptist signified the rejection of the preaching of the Kingdom to the Jews and was forecasting the rejection of the Son of man which would result in His crucifixion. The killing of John the Baptist was a demonstration of Israel once again being fit with the yoke of bondage described in Lev. 28:13 where they were under the lash of bondage and servitude to the evil associated with the Egyptians. You can be fit for service to render evil if you are not fit for Godly service. Human beings are predisposed to serve the sinful conditions of their hearts. This is why Jesus is opening the window of opportunity for them to come to Him and become fit for His service by taking on his yoke. Today, when His yoke is secured over your life, you too can walk upright and experience the Conqueror lifestyle.
Leviticus 26:13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
Thanks be to our God now that we all have the opportunity to come boldly before Him in our prayer lives and committed time in His Word. We can experience spiritual fitness for His service because of the finished work at the cross and His powerful resurrection which validates His worthiness to come to Him just as you are with a heart that is willing to trust in Him for all your spiritual needs. Jesus told the Jews – as an alternative to the elders religiosity and the Pagan rituals – to take His yoke upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up. He was laying the foundation for the culmination of His death, burial and resurrection being available to them and us all. The yoke symbolizes being brought together with Him and under the authority of God’s Mighty Hand on a daily basis. Ultimately, His yoke – being a bond servant to him and carrying the message of salvation- is easier and the burdens are far better in Him.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
- “The Yoke” (precioussheepofrenown.wordpress.com)
- The Newness of the New Covenant (davidjosephbalzer.wordpress.com)
- Equally Yoked With Jesus (nmuthusi.wordpress.com)
- Is Grace a “Free” Gift? (work4christ.wordpress.com)
- “Take My Yoke Upon You.” (drmthomas1975.wordpress.com)
- Matthew 11:29-30 NKJV – The Yoke (pagprayer.wordpress.com)