Scriptural Readings: Matthew 11:28-30
King James Version
V.28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
V.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.
V.30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.
New Living Translation
V.28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
V.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
V.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
“Take up and carry your cross.” A commandment from our Lord that may seem an impossible thing to fulfill for us Christians. One thing for sure is that it might show an unpleasant picture, and we have this impression of nothing but difficulties. But faith tells us more than we can expect. And there are spiritual outcomes that are more necessary in our spiritual lives than we can have. Remember, it is a commandment from our Lord Jesus. It also includes having blessings.
In this world, we are living in, every second counts. For each second that passes by, it is of the highest quality to benefit, not only for our daily needs but also for our spiritual needs. As we go over with our lives living in harmony with state-of-the-art technology, uncertainty should not be a part of our day-to-day lives. However, because of the complexity of the world we are living in, mistakes are inevitable.
“Come unto me…”.
The word “come” in Greek is “deute” (dyoo’- teh), coming from the word “deuro” (dyoo’-ro), an imperative meaning come here and follow; hitherto. Hitherto means describing a state or circumstance that existed until now. Followed by the Greek word “pros”: a preposition of direction, meaning towards, or forward. Now, let us connect the dots. God knows all of us will reach a point that we will need His help, and this is where we might miss the point. When Jesus said come, He means we must go directly to Him. He knows what we look for exactly. There should be no alternatives. What is wrong with us at present is that we have a lot of options. Jesus has become the alternative. We insist on working hard more on the things that we think are the best for us instead of coming straight to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is plain, and it is simple. Come.
“Take my yoke…”.
What comes up to your mind when you hear the word yoke? It is not a common word we hear every day. Is this word relevant today? Does it make sense to anyone, even in our spiritual lives? This word may seem irrelevant, but it infuses us with the most significant consequences in our spiritual lives.
One dictionary defines a yoke as a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull; during ancient Rome, it is an arch of three spears under which it made a defeated army march.
For these animals, this crosspiece is a thing that would help lighten the load and guide them with their purpose, and that is to help humans. As for some Christians, we might look at the crosspiece as burdensome for us. However, in its genuine sense is a connection for us to deepen our relationship to our God.
“…and learn of me…”.
Learning is a must for our way of life, most especially in our spiritual lives. The problem is that we sometimes presume challenges as troubles to us. A burden that makes our lives miserable. We think that there are more essential things that we have to attend to than to accept these challenges that will improve our lives. For some, this may be true. But for our spiritual lives, it is entirely different. We have to respond to what the Holy Spirit is telling and instructing us.
Just how are you going to react if someone asked you to drive a massive 18-wheeler truck for the first time? What feelings are there for a first-timer pilot to fly an Airbus A380? Danger might be the first word to pop out of one’s mind. Lack of self-trust can also be in us. The size of what is in front of us is terrifying, especially when we talk about and face an insurmountable problem. It is the reason Jesus told us to come. To learn. And not to be dismayed. The word “learn” in Greek is man-than’-o. Prolongation from a primary verb, another form of which, Matheo, is used as an alternate in certain tenses; to learn (in any way):–learn, understand. Jesus would not let us reach out to Him to suffer. He requires us to come to Him in prayer and surely will learn. To learn from Him will cause finding rest, the opposite of what we presume to have difficulties because of yokes.
For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.
If you can see another angle of the meaning of this word, it has the same predicament Jesus experienced. The wooden cross was weighty for our Lord Jesus, true indeed, but in its spiritual essence, it created the road map for us to travel the spiritual realm that God prepared us with ease to cope up with living in this unbearable world. He picked up His cross (piece), guided, and marched like a leader of a defeated army, but in the end, of course, is the beginning of everlasting life with our God.
God knows we are heading to rough and confusing times. Looking, picking up, and carrying our cross is an activity done every day for us to acknowledge and resolve the truth from lies guiding us where He wants us to be. It is where our lives cross with God’s plan. From the time being that we carry on our crosses, Our Father, through the Holy Spirit, instructs us of the things we need as we undergo with our everyday living. The moment that we carry our crosses, we will feel the power of the Holy Spirit defeating the body, taking control of our souls and spirit. We might bear our crosses every day, but tell us where we are heading, eliminating confusion and uncertainties, placing us in the right direction towards His will.