Chapter Three - Fitted Yokes
What is your burden right now? What is your burden? Even though the burden. might be Lifted in an experience of worship, the burden. sometimes will, reappear. The reason is we have not brought our burden to Jesus.
One student was asked by his professor why he did not complete an assignment. He replied, "I didn't feel good." To which the professor said, "Did it ever occur to you that 95% of the accomplishments of this world are done by persons who don't feel good?" It is not unusual, not to feel good. Spiritually and physically, all of us are subject to "not feeling good" from time to time.
The problem is we do not do with them what Jesus said. The matter at hand is not that we have problems and burdens, but what are we doing with them? If we do not correct them, they are like a chain reaction traffic condition on the freeway ...they pile on us. Then, sometimes we are forced to give them to our Lord, The problem is we just don't do what Jesus said, "Take no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow will bring forth additional burdens and problems of its own." He further said, "Sufficient is today7s own problem."
So how do we deal with today's burdens? The answer is found in the above Scripture.. Jesus said: "Come to Me, all you who are exhausted, and come unto Me, all you who are weighed down beneath your burdens and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, learn of Me for I am obedient and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls." He goes on to say, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
These are real lifting words.. These are words spoken by Jesus to men who were trying with all their might to find God. They were reaching for God. They were desperately trying to do good and were thus driven to despair. So Jesus says, "Come to Me if you are weighed down with your burdens." For us it will be a new lease on life.
I. Come Unto Me All You Who Are Deflated (Vs. 28a)
Deflated and defeated.. Exhausted -- exhausted in a search. The Greeks had a saying that it is most difficult to find God and when you do, it iš impossible to relate to Him or to tell others of Him, Job 11:17, "Can you by searching find out God? Can you find out the Almighty.....?" Now this is the question at hand to the people of Jesus' day. Many were trying desperately to be good and desperately trying to find God.
One wrote: "Can one reach God by toil? He gives Himself to the pure in heart. He asks nothing but our attention." To pay attention to Jesus is to pay attention to God, for it was Jesus ;ho said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen God the Father, you have seen God, for I. am a manifestation of Him."
There is rest for the soul. There is rest for the Storm-tossed soul in finding God. The cries of the Bible echo to us (they are the cries of today) to listen: "As the hart panteth after the waterbrook, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God." Or again, we read, as it has echoed down through the corridors of time.
"Oh, that I knew where I might find Him." In the still small voice of our heart we can hear Him say to us, "Come unto Me" We have tried to find God, we have tried to encompass him, and this is our error. Sometimes one feels that he is so small, so tiny in the spirit of God that he will be ignored, but God is alive and God is aware, and He speaks to us. He says, "Come." God is Man, God in flesh in the Person of Jesus, Who was the Son of God, Come to Him--His ways, His ideas, and His life.
He then says,
II Come Unto Me All You Who Are Weighed Down (VS. 20b)
All who are pressured down--these are God's Words--not words from a newspaper or book, but from God. Come to Me if you are weighed down with your problems and your burdens. Let Me help relieve the pressure. Pressures of the home, business, social life, etc. Let us establish the fact that living is not to be a burden. There should not be the air of "Thou shalt not" rules, for Jesus said they bind heavy burdens around one's neck.
The Continuous demands of the law were to the people, indeed, a burden. But Jesus said, "Bring your burden to Me."
III Jesus Said, "My Yoke Fits Well" (vs. 29)
His yoke fits well.
Jesus asks that we take upon our shoulders His yoke. How can one remove a burden to the shoulder of Jesus? I don't know how it is done, really, but I know it can be done. I know it is done. Many can attest to this fact. My yoke fits well, this is that which 11e places upon our shoulder, There is giving and there is taking. Jesus says, "My yoke fits 'easy'." The Greek word, rightly translated, is "Well-fitted." That is this chapter's title. "Fitted Yokes." Jesus asks that we take His yoke upon our shoulders.
Not the yoke of the law, of the comandments, etc., which weighted down a soul in an attempt to fulfill them. Jesus was a carpenter. It has been said that on His carpenter's shop the sign read, "My Yoke Fits Best." He was a craftsman, one who carefully knew hou to make a well-fitting yoke--a yoke that would fit beast well and thus serve the master well. .Ihen a customer came to His shop, he usually brought the oxen. The yoke was placed on the neck of the animal. The yoke had to be adjusted, just like having a pair of eye glasses adjusted today. An adjustment had to be made. This would get the maximum efficiency out of the animal.
The yoke was then finished--made to order. So, perhaps Jesus did have that sign that read, "My Yoke Fits Best,' because, to this day, his yoke fits best. Someone has said, "The life I give you is not a burden to gall you; your task is made to measure.'7 Your life has been made to measure.. Whatever God sends to us or allows to happen to us is made to fit our needs, to fit our ability, exactly. God has a task for you -- which is made to measure.
In Galatians 6:2 we read:"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
This speaks of burdens, the kind of burden which falls on some man, which comes out of some emergency, some sorrow. it is our business as Christians to help everyone who is up against it. But there is, on the other hand, a burden which a man must bear himself. Paul's word, "bear," in the secular sense, has been translated "shoulder pack," something placed heavily on one, a responsibility, a duty, which cannot be evaded. There is a "pack" upon every Christian in the world, whether he wants to bear it or not, something which cannot be given to someone else. Sometimes these become advantages. Sometimes the burden which you are bearing right now becomes that which can sustain you in this week's activities. It is not strange that one has a burden--nothing to get upset about if a burden has to be borne, because sometimes the burdens sustain us.
For example, I recall reading years ago that a medical missionary going to a new post en route had to cross a small shallow stream; it looked harmless. But in crossing they were about to be swept off their feet. Watching longer, he noticed that they began looking around for a boulder, the largest one they could individually handle.
By holding on to their shoulders, or in some cases, their heads, they walked very slowly across the stream. Everyone followed example The doctor thought to himself, "Why, I can't do that," But I was further told that, for my own welfare, I must do it. So I did it. Not realizing at first that this was the "Balance type" thing that kept me from being swept away." He later said, while crossing the dangerous streams of life, "currents constantly seek to overturn us and sweep us down the rivcr.' We need a balance. 4e need a load to bear, a burden, if you please.. We need a load of difficulty to keep us from being swept off our feet. All things work together for good.
IV. Jesus Said, "My Burden Is Light" (vs.30)
Not that the burden is easy to carry, but, through the mystical power of love, the heaviest of loads become light. We are told to love God, and, if we do, and if we love His ways, then the burdens become not light, but fixed enough for us to grow and be sustained.
A little boy was walking down the Street carrying his little brother. A lady passing by stopped and asked, "My, isn't that too much to bear, isn't that burden too heavy?" The little boy answered, smiling through the sweat running down his face, for the sun was hot that day, "No, I haven't noticed. He's my little brother." Burdens, to us, have been placed upon us; however, they need not be burdens if we accept them. burden accepted in love, carried in love, is a burden that is always light.
There was once a motherless little girl who was born blind. Her mother died early in life, her daddy had to go to war, so arrangements were made for an aunt to take care of the little girl. It was a sad affair when the time came to leave their little house. Most of their meager belongings had been taken to the truck in front. The little girl was given a small cardboard box in which to place her few toys and keepsakes. Together the little girl and her daddy walked down the long hail to the front door. Opening it, they discovered that it was now raining.
The daddy looked down at the bewilderment on the face of his little girl holding her box. Then he said, "Here, honey, you hold the box, and I'll hold you." Bending down, he picked her up in his arms; all the while the little girl was holding on tight to her little cardboard box of treasures. Through the tears, her daddy said, "Here we go, I'll hold you up." 11e carried the little girl, a burden, some might say, but he sustained her.
God carries us, as it were, when our faith, like a giant-electro-magnet, is coupled with Him. !e know nothing else in the world can matter.
There is a sign down the road from where I am writing. It reads, "Load limit is enforced." Oh, that this would be your motto. You are carrying, right now, a load that you need not carry. If you would only do as Jesus said, "Come unto Ne, you who are weighed down and burdened, and I will give you rest. Rest is available unto us, help is available unto us if only we would ask for it and accept it.
In conclusion, we have our doubts, we have our sorrows, we even have our fears. Psalm 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the Lord, artd He shall sustain you. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." God says, "Cast your burden on Me. I will sustain you." Or, Psalm 38:4, "For my iniquities are gone over mine head; as a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me." Our iniquities, even as Christian people, are to us a burden. Our righteousness is like a filthy rag, we are told in God's Word.
There is a point where we can help one another. Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another's burdens." Perhaps no one around you knows of your burden; but God knows. The wonderful old song has it, "Bring your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out, bring your burdens to the Lord and leave them there."
When the invitation is as wide as the world, the plea is, "Come, come to the Saviour." The Saviour says, "I am meek." Not the picture of submissiveness, but a great word--one of the great words of the Old and New Testament. The Greek word is used for an animal which is trained to respond to the slightest command of the Master, an animal under control. We need to be meek. Again, taiS does not mean yellow or spineless, but it means to be God-controlled. For thic is the true meaning of the word meek.
And so Jesus addresses these words to a people, a people who are poor, in that they are lost in their sinfulness, to those who are burdened down with the consequences of sin, saying, ".1hat can I do? 'Where can I go?" Jesus says, "Take upon yourself Ny yoke." ˇ fitted yoke, which, as one has said, is an emblem of bondage or affliction, or a cross, or a punishment of sin, or the command of God, or even old religious or legal ceremonies. Jhen a yoke was spoken of, these things were thought of by many. But away with all the past afflictions on humanity. Take MY yoke, a yoke of love.
It was as if Jesus said, "Come unto Me, and t will reveal the Father unto you. Trust Me and find God. Accept Ny law of life by accepting ˇle and so find rest, for My yoke, the yoke t wear, is easy, and My burden, the burden I bear, is light.. Come unto Ne, be identified with Me. Let Nc be the window throuh which the light flashes and the door through which you pass to God. Come unto Ne and rest your depressed spirit. Come unto Ne and find forgiveness for your sins, and I will come back to you with hearing. I will come back to you with blessings. But there is a condition. You must come and take, and you must learn."
He is asking right now, dear reader, 'What is YOUR burden?" Let him deal with your burden.
Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock."
I want your burden.
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