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Woman carrying a wooden yoke

In today’s Bible reading, Jesus offers comfort to those who would follow Him.

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. (Matthew 11:28–30 ESV)

Application

Note that Jesus never promised to do away with all of the burdens of His followers. In fact, He offers to exchange burdens with them. But they still carry responsibilities. Following Jesus doesn’t mean that we have no cares. It means He carries our cares and gives us rest as we take His yoke upon us.

Regarding the word “easy” Jesus uses, Greek Scholars, Johannes Louw and Eugene Nida say, “pertaining to that which is pleasant or easy, with the implication of suitability…. In a number of languages it is necessary to translate [easy] by a negativized equivalent, for example, ‘it is not difficult to bear.”[1] Jesus makes us suitable to carry His yoke. And the Bible is one of the key components. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Regarding Jesus’ word “light”, the scholars say, “pertaining to that which is easy to bear or endure—‘light, easy.’ … If ‘burden’ in Mt 11:30 is understood figuratively, [light] can generally also be understood in a figurative sense.[2]

The implication is that those who follow Jesus have burdens and yokes. Nowhere does Jesus promise that if you follow Him, you will have no concerns. No, He promises that we will continue to face obstacles. And I have said many times that a call to follow Jesus is a call to come and die.

No, we have responsibilities. We have things we have to do if we are to follow Jesus. But He assures us that He is there to shoulder those responsibilities with us. He is there.

And that is a very comforting promise from our Lord!

[1] Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains 1996 : 246. Print.
[2] ibid.

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