(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Jesus gave this invitation in Matthew 11:28 through 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.”
Before we go any further, it would be beneficial to understand what the Lord is saying here. I wrote a Gem concerning this back on April 24, 2013 entitled The Light Yoke. I would encourage you to go back and read this particular Gem. But here I will briefly describe what Jesus meant when He said, “Take My yoke upon you….”
- A yoke is designed to go over the necks of oxen so they can both share the heavy load and pull it with more strength than just one ox alone.
- We must understand that Jesus is all-powerful! How powerful is He? In Colossians 1:15-17 it is written:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principal- ities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (see also Hebrews 1:1-3).
- Being so powerful, He can carry a load of amazing weight! But He doesn’t take it all off our shoulders! He shares the load, and that’s where the idea of the yoke comes in.
- Jesus invites us to share the load we carry, and pull together with Him. But His side of the yoke is so much bigger than ours, so He carries the MUCH heavier load! That’s why He says, “Take My yoke upon you…for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Why don’t people take advantage of this marvelous opportunity to greatly decrease their burdens? We already looked at two of six reasons why this is so:
- Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
- Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their own problems themselves.
Let’s go on to the next two reasons:
- Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
✞ John 5:2 through 9 – The man at the pool of Be- thesda was sick for 38 years! ➔ He didn’t know what to do with his burden of severe infirmity, because he was depend- ing on the tradition of an angel stirring up the waters of the pool. And “...whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.” (verse 4). But when the water stirred, he could not get there first! Another step- ped in ahead of him! It must have been very discouraging for this man. ➔ But then Jesus came on the scene! And He “...said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well...” (verses 8 and 9). ➔ Jesus took the big part of the burden when He healed the man! What was the healed man’s part of the burden? “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” I think the Lord was saying “Rise, take up your bed and walk...and live your life to glorify God hereafter!” ✞ I met Cathy years ago. She came to the parsonage of my first church. She sat in our living room and cried. She told me she had been to several ministers in the area trying to find out how to get rid of the burden of her sins! They were a heavy load on her life! I shared the gospel with her, that Jesus already paid for our sins com- pletely! When we come to Him in faith believing, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us.” (Psalm 103:12). Cathy prayed to receive Christ as her Savior, and her tears of sorrow became tears of joy! She had her burden lifted! Her part of the bargain was to live in obedience to the Lord Jesus..... which she did faithfully thereafter! ✡ David carried his terrible sins of adultery and murder for a year by himself. Finally he turned back to God. Here is what he wrote in Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” David had his heavy burdens lifted!
- Some have never heard this invitation.
✞ Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “...you shall be witnesses to Me...” in all places where people need to hear the good news of Jesus’ procured salvation...which is in all places! (see also Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; I Peter 3:15). ✞ We who live in America live in a very blessed country. We are free to share the gospel with very little persecution! Perhaps the ‘persecu- tion’ we might experience in this country is someone laughing at our witness, or telling us to “Bug off! I don’t want to hear what you have to offer!” ✞ In Romans 10:13 and 14, Paul wrote (quoting Joel 2:32): ...whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? ✞ But statistics tell us that 90 to 95 percent of Christians in America have never led anyone to faith in Jesus Christ! We who have Him as our Savior also have to make Him Lord of our lives! We have a big job to do! A lot of sinners need to hear the gospel! They have burdens – especial- ly the burden of their sin! – that Jesus invites all to let Him bear that sin load!
We need one more Gem to finish this study of “Come To Me”.