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Easy Yoke and Light Burden

Scriptures Expounded - Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2015
by Temi Peter
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Easy Yoke and Light Burden

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30
How meek of our Lord Jesus Christ! It was our Lord Jesus Christ speaking in the scripture above. Tears almost always come to my eyes anytime I come across this scripture. What is a yoke? According to the Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary, among other definitions, a yoke is a rough treatment or something that restricts your freedom and makes your life very difficult to bear while a burden is a duty, responsibility etc that causes worry, difficulty or hard work. A burden can also be defined as a heavy load that is difficult to carry. In the light of these definitions, we can see that yokes and burdens are never supposed to be easy and light. In fact, humanly speaking, once a yoke becomes easy, it ceases to be a yoke and any burden that is light is no more a burden. Yet, our Lord Jesus assures us in the scripture above that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. This means the yoke and burden of our Lord Jesus Christ are no burdens and yokes at all. Why then did the Lord refer to them as burden and yokes? You would ask. I think He said so in order to be modest as regards what you should expect when you come to Him. How do you come to Jesus? By being born again. Being born again means accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Saviour. Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Personal Saviour is easy and free. There are no strings attached. However, many hesitate in making this decision. Why? They are afraid to forsake their old ways. They are afraid to give up their worldly pleasures. This is especially for those who are ‘enjoying’ a life of sin occasioned by wealth, position, power etc. This category of people may find it difficult accepting the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Personal Saviour. That is why the Lord was cautious to warn beforehand that there is a yoke and burden everyone who comes to Him will have to bear – you’ll have to war against your flesh, your worldly desires and even natural affections. You’ll have to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You would have to handover your life to Him completely. This is the easy yoke and light burden the Lord is referring to. The fornicator who has easy access to the opposite sex for sinful purposes must give up the pleasure he/she had been used to and resist the temptation and possibly bear the persecution which will surely come thereafter. The smoker must give up his bad habit. The drunkard must resist the urge to drink. The corrupt person must say NO to bribes and corrupt practices which hitherto used to augment his/her pay or allowed them to leave well beyond their means. Of course, it can’t be said that every born again Christian has forsaken their old ways. Many so-called born-again Christians still indulge in sin from time to time. These born again Christians, though have come to the Lord as the He asked them to in Matthew 11:28, have refused to take His yoke upon Him and learn of Him as He instructed in Matthew 11:29. Hence, like every other unbeliever, they continue to labour and are heavy laden and find no rest for their souls. Labour and being heavy laden in this instance don’t necessarily mean toiling or hard work rather it is a state of discomfort, discontent, emptiness, lack of peace and rest. Every human being is bound to experience all of these except we follow the steps outlined below as instructed by our Lord Jesus in the scriptures being expounded:
1. We must come unto Him – accept Him as Lord and Personal Saviour (Matthew 11:28)
2. We must take His yoke upon ourselves and learn of Him – surrender our lives to Him and forsake our old ways; in other words, carry His easy yoke and light burden (Matthew 11:29a). Even though this is just one dimension of it, it is the starting point.

Furthermore, the Lord goes ahead to describe Himself as meek and lowly in heart in Matthew 11:29b. The ultimate purpose of Jesus telling us to learn of Him as He instructed in (Matthew 11:29a) is to be like Him as against what obtains in the secular world where we usually learn about people for the sake of it. And since, the Lord is meek and lowly in heart, we must strive to be so too. To be meek means to be quiet, gentle and not protesting while to be lowly in heart means to be humble. If our Lord Jesus Christ who is God Almighty has decided to be meek and lowly in heart, who are we that we should be otherwise? Matthew 5:38-48 paints a clear picture of what it means to be meek and lowly in heart. For genuine born again Christians, there goes another dimension of the easy yoke and light burden of our Lord Jesus Christ we all have to carry. We must consciously and continuously with prayer strive to take in upon ourselves. It may not be easy initially but it is nothing compared to the yoke and burden of the world. Also, the reward is sure. We shall find rest for our souls both now and in the hereafter. Proverbs 11:31 assures us. Please accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Saviour if you have not yet done so. May God help us all. Amen.




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Temi Peter


 
 


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