Come to me…and I will give you rest.
In this text Jesus is telling us that there is more than one yoke in this world and invites you and me to choose which yoke we will bear in life. Will we take on the yoke the world espouses of pursuing success and meaning relying on our own resources or will we accept Jesus’ invitation to be yoked with him?
It is not that Jesus invites us to a life of ease. Following him will be full of risks and challenges, as he has made abundantly clear. He calls us to a life of humble service, but it is a life of freedom and joy instead of slavery. It is life yoked to Jesus under God’s gracious and merciful reign, free from the burden of sin and the need to prove oneself, free to rest deeply and securely in God’s grace.
My yoke is easy and my burden light.
To what or to whom are you yoked right now? Have you chosen these connections, or have you allowed them to be placed upon you by others? Are they life-giving or deadening? What can you do?
Come to me, all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
To follow Jesus is not a decision taken once and for all, it is a daily choice. And we do not meet the Lord virtually, but directly, we encounter him in our lives.
The humanity of Jesus is the key that unlocks the secrets of divinity, not the opposite, as we have believed for much of the Christian era. The mystery of God becomes transparent in the mystery of the human. . . Jesus is the first disciple of ancestral grace.
Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire,–that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.
Thomas à Kempis
The point is not that Jesus was a good guy who accepted everybody, and thus we should do the same (though that would be good). Rather, his teachings and behavior reflect an alternative social vision.
Worship of Jesus is rather harmless and risk-free; actually following Jesus changes everything.
Jesus calls us to his rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.
A. W. Tozer
Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you.
Christian discipleship is a decision to walk in his ways, steadily and firmly, and then finding that the way integrates all our interests, passions, and gifts, our human needs and eternal aspirations. It is the way of life we were created for.
Eugene H. Peterson