Weekend Word - Part VII

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Don’t we all need to read this verse from time to time…I feel like given the pace of my life, this is another verse, just like last week, I should probably read everyday.

Who among us does not know what it’s like to feel totally week…totally exhausted…like we couldn’t take another step?...and I don’t just mean physically, I mean emotionally and spiritually as well. Perhaps you’ve taken so many hits to your self-esteem you can’t imagine ever being able to take a chance again…you’ve experience such great loss that you don’t think you will or could ever be happy…you’ve been waiting and waiting for God to renew your spirit and it just hasn’t happened and you’re feeling utterly lost, alone, and hopeless…these are what I consider to be “weary and heavy burden” moments…

“I will give you rest”…relief…I’ll take those problems for a while…I’ll give you joy, peace, love, hope…I will renew your strength…I love you…let me show you…don’t try to handle this alone…I can take it…trust me…

Now, I can be a little Rob Bell-is this week, because I’ve actually heard people (him) talk about what it means to take on a teacher’s “yoke.” (although, I’m sure I’ll most likely butcher the meaning of this because I totally just write this stuff from the top of my head…there’s no extra research involved…it’s the weekend…I don’t have that kind of energy or drive…I’ll just say it’s on one of his Nooma dvd’s so you should probably just watch it to get the real info). I think that in Jewish culture, when you chose to identify yourself with a particular rabbi or teacher, you would take on their “yoke.” That meant that you would take on their teachings. Then it would be your job to pass those teachings and ideas on to others. So, when Jesus said that His “yoke is easy” and “His burden is light,” He’s letting us know that we’re not going to be taking on this impossible task by being His follower. It’s doable, it’s achievable. He even says it easy…and that He'll be easy on us...He's humble...not the kind of know it all that you can't stand to be around...and when you get something wrong, or fail a little, He's not gonna beat you...He'll be loving and gentle

Now, I don’t want to disagree with what Jesus says here…so please don’t think that’s what I’m doing, but I don’t really necessarily feel that His burden is light. I see His burden as being death on the cross…death to self…and the burden of reaching the world with His love and power…I mean, perhaps that’s not what He’s talking about here, but I take it as a very heavy burden. However, it's not a hopeless one…not one that I carry alone. Maybe that’s why He considers it “light.” Perhaps it’s light, because it’s shared by all Christians…and Jesus is holding up the heavy side…What an awesomely cool God we have…I feel like that sounds kinda corny, but how else can you describe someone who’s willing to take on our heart aches, struggles, pain, and sorrow so that we don’t have to? I think that’s pretty awesomely cool in my mind…don’t you?

~Blevins – out!


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