What’s the Word Wednesday: No Great Burden

One of the very first things I remember learning about Jesus is that his yoke was easy and his burden was light.  And although those well known verses from Matthew 11 ring of ease and simplicity, I had absolutely no idea what they meant when I first starting following Christ and pursuing his word.

“28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

I knew I fit the category of people who Jesus was calling:  burdened, restlessly laboring, and laden with weights and baggage of all shapes and sizes.  I also knew that I was in desperate need of the type of soul-rest that Jesus was offering.  So this verse had to be talking directly to me.  But verse 30 is where I always drew a blank.  What was the easy yoke and light burden of which Jesus spoke?  What did that even mean anyway?

One of the things I love most about studying the Bible is how one verse can all of a sudden and seemingly out of nowhere illuminate your understanding of another verse all the way on the other side of the Bible.  As I shared last week, I’ve been steeping myself in the truth of Isaiah 43 these last few weeks, coming back to it again and again.  This week it was verse  10 that took hold of me…“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord“and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.

And there is was – that light burden and easy yoke that Jesus would speak of thousands of years later.  Those two verses came together in a crash course collision that had been divinely planned since the beginning of time.  God makes no stringent demands of us.  He is not heavy-handed in what he requires, no his yoke is easy and burden is light.  He asks only that we would know him, believe him and position ourselves to grow in an ever-increasing understanding him.  God wants nothing more and nothing less than our hearts.  I don’t know about you, but after all that he has accomplished for me, that’s a burden I will gratefully bear.

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