New Wine - Day 22

Come to me...

Matthew 11:28-30  “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.””

I have a question for you. Are you ready for it? Ok, here it is . . . would you like to get really close to Jesus? I mean really close to Jesus. I'm guessing you're saying yes! Well, the good news is that we can! In fact, Jesus wants us to live this life incredibly close with Him!
The passage we are going to spend time in today has Jesus talking about something called a yoke. A yoke was something that was used in the agricultural environment . . . in the fields with animals. It was something that went on the necks of creatures like oxen or horses.
Many yokes were made for a single animal to work or plow the field. But, the animal didn't naturally or instinctively know how to function in a yoke. It had to be taught.
Therefore, there were also yokes that fit two animals so an experienced and stronger animal could show a younger and weaker animal how to plow the field.
Jesus, being the wise and practical Teacher He was, used this example from the everyday lives of those He lived with and taught. This was a very common site for the people of His day. They could understand very quickly what Jesus was getting at when He talked about a yoke in Matthew 11.
However, a yoke was also a term used for the teaching of a Rabbi. If you were a disciple . . . an apprentice of a Rabbi, you were choosing to live your life under their teaching, under their yoke. The yoke, or teaching, of the religious leaders and Rabbis of Jesus' day was a heavy yoke. It was not full of the love and grace of God. It was a heavy burden to the people.
This is why Jesus says, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." We are so blessed to live in the yoke of Jesus!
1. Do you sense you are enjoying life in the easy yoke with Jesus?  If so, reflect on the moments you especially notice it.
2. Do you sense you are a living under a heavy yoke of your own or someone/something else’s?  If so, what leads you to this realization?
3. Take a couple of minutes to be still and think about what you sense Jesus would like for you to receive from Him today.

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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