“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.” (Matthew 11:29)
Whether we like it or not, there are times we get so weighed down by life and its challenges that we begin to feel like ending our very life itself. Jesus knew such moments would come so he said: “Come to Me…” Whenever you are not happy, whenever your heart is not at rest when life gives you a bitter pill to swallow, the only thing you need is Jesus.
Jesus says come to me; come to my house, come over, come and see me, come let’s talk. Are you troubled? Is your heart restless? You can’t find sleep at night? Come to Jesus. He is all you need. By the way, it is important to note that the very act of coming to Jesus does not begin and end with prayer. It also implies that we do certain things:
- We must carry His Yoke. The word “yoke” comes from the Hebrew word “motah” which means “straight bars projecting downward, against which the shoulders of the oxen are pressed, and it was held in position by thongs or bonds, fastened under the animals’ throats. Such yokes could, of course, be of any weight, depending on the nature of the work to be done.”
When Jesus says we should carry his yoke, he speaks figuratively referring to those things we must do as his followers. Like a farmer ties a yoke on oxen in order to use them to work on the farm, Jesus wants us to carry His Yoke; be controlled by his teaching; to work in promoting God’s kingdom.
Moreover, Jesus went further to add that this yoke is easy and the burden (sacrifices, pains, commitments) that come with carrying the yoke is very light. Do not allow satan to deceive you into thinking that living a righteous life is hard or difficult. It is a lie. Jesus says “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30
- We must learn from Jesus. What we are to learn from Jesus? His gentleness and lowliness. There are some Christians who quote this scripture without understanding its full meaning: “the kingdom of God suffereth violence so the violent must take it by force.” Taking God’s kingdom by force does not mean we should become violent or pray for the death of our enemies.
If we approach God with the mindset of entitlement, we become like the landlord asking his tenant for money instead of the lowly creature beseeching God for favours. Realising that Jesus is all we need, carrying His yoke, and learning from Him, remains the only way we can find peace in our souls.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, be my sole priority from today to my very last day. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 26:7-9,12,16-19, Ps. 102:13-21, Matthew 11:28-30).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu