Bible Reading Blog
“You Will Find Rest”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
Bible Reading: Matthew 10-11
There is tremendous upside to following Jesus. It is evident in Matthew's gospel that Jesus has the ability to fulfill any and every human need… but he doesn’t simply invite people to be spectators to his greatness. Jesus challenges his disciples to engage in the work with him (Matthew 10.24-25, 38). The longer people followed Jesus, the deeper he pressed them towards that commitment.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me…” (Matthew 11.29). It is easy to glaze over this statement, but Jesus' metaphor is a challenging depiction of discipleship. A yoke was a rigid tool for linking animals together for greater strength; but it was more the instrument of discipline than of work. The yoke kept the animals from distraction or deviation, and helped keep them moving the same direction. Jesus’ call for disciples to put on his yoke sends a clear message: He expects them to be disciplined and working in tandem with him.
The yoke is about learning to conform to his way of life. Just like a yoke keeps one animal from taking a joy-ride through the weeds, Jesus’ words teach us to reject the path we want to go and walk the path towards the Father. His teaching only imposes when we are pulling away from him. If we are trying to serve Jesus, there are times when we ought to feel the discomfort from his expectations because we are trying to go a different way.
The devil wants you to think that struggle is a bad thing. He wants you to think that following Jesus should always produce positive results in your life... and the reality is, if we are not allowing the words of Jesus to teach and train us (Titus 2.11-12), we will not experience the struggle that his discipline brings. In fact, we may live comfortable lives filled with pleasure and enjoyment... but we will never find rest.
That’s Jesus’ point. We can hustle all we want and live how we want, but without him we will experience no lasting value from our efforts (Matthew 11.28). Only in working and walking with him do we find purpose and peace.
The choice to follow Jesus must be a balanced decision, that does not overemphasize his work or negate our involvement. He expects us to work, but he does not force us to put on the yoke. However, when we submit to Jesus and learn from him, we find what our soul truly desires.
“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).