A yoke of rest!
Scripture reading for October 8th: Matthew 8-11
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
This portion of Matthew is one I have preached on often and love to return to on a regular basis. It seems that I have a tendency to love to work and take on lots of projects. It is like I have a subtle need to find my worth in what I do or how much I can do. This is hard to admit and even harder to detect the true motives. I must remember that my work earns me nothing because salvation is all grace!
In the time of Jesus, a rabbi was a master teacher whose disciples were training to be like their teacher. When a student was fully trained, he would be like his teacher and could also become a rabbi himself. (Luke 6:40) It was an honor to follow a rabbi and only the brightest and best were usually asked. However, Jesus the “Rabbi”, went among the common people and called those who appeared to be the unqualified. Jesus looked at the heart and took those who were willing to leave all and follow!
The ‘yoke’ of the rabbi was his authority and his teachings. A disciple would learn to follow the master so closely that it is said that the dust of the rabbi was on their clothes. Jesus asked followers to come under His authority received from His Father. (Matthew 11:27) Sickness departed at His word! (Matthew 8:2-3) Demons in people left at His command! (Matthew 8:28-34) Sins were forgiven and a paralytic healed. (Matthew 9:1-8) A dead girl was raised to life at His word! (Matthew 9:23-25) Blind men received their sight at His touch. (Matthew 9:27-31) At His command, the disciples were sent out and miracles were done through their hands! (Matthew 10:1-8)
Following Jesus requires a complete surrender to Him. His ‘yoke’ of authority is easy and His ‘burden’ light. He has all authority and has given authority to us to do His work! We are promised even greater works because He has gone to the Father! (John 14:12-13) Are you under Jesus Christ and His yoke?