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His Yoke


Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you 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.”

Certainly, Jesus has every right to issue orders, but what we have here is an invitation.

And it is an invitation with a reward---“you will find rest for your souls.”

But, there’s something else, isn’t there?

Being yoked with Jesus necessitates going where He goes!

Can we really say with the hymn writer---“If Jesus goes with me, I’ll go anywhere?”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Certainly, Jesus began His public ministry on a great wave of popularity.

Matthew’s gospel tells us---“Great multitudes followed Him––from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem , Judea, and beyond the Jordan .”

That would have been an exciting time to be yoked with Jesus, wouldn’t it?

However, not only was He a healer, but He was also a revealer, and that wasn’t so popular.

As John’s gospel tells us---God’s Light had come into the world, and “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

And because of those evil deeds, they didn’t like what He had to say either.

Nevertheless, as He told the multitude ---I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, someone has said---If you don’t like the message, don’t shoot the messenger.

But in Israel ’s case, that’s exactly what they did.

Remember Steven’s words---“Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

No, it’s not always easy to be yoked with Jesus.

In fact, John 6:66 tells us---“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

And that’s when “Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?”

“But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

No, they would not forsake that blessed yoke at any cost.

And there would be a cost.

As Jesus told them on the night before His crucifixion---“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19

However, on that very same night He also said---“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

It’s hard to put those two things together, isn’t it?

How can you bear Jesus’ reproach and at the same time “find rest for your souls?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, we could ask the same question about Israel ’s conquest of Canaan .

Certainly, God hadn’t minimized the opposition that that second generation would face.

Deuteronomy 9:1-2 “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven,  "a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?”

Yes, it was the same situation that their forefathers had rejected.

And yet, when God barred that first generation from Canaan , He said---“They shall not enter My rest.”

No, He didn’t say they would avoid a catastrophe, He said---“They shall not enter My rest.”

Yes, they could have rested in God’s sufficiency and inherited a land of milk and honey.

And they could have done it with the same resources that were available to that second generation.

Deuteronomy 9:3---“Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And that’s why Jesus can promise rest for our souls.

Yes, My yoke will be easy and My burden will be light . . . because I will be there---even to the end of the age.”



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