I’m pretty sure we’ve all had or still have burdens in life. But perhaps not all of the burdens we carried were necessary. What if we’ve been piling up burdens of our own? What if the “burdens” Jesus wants us to carry aren’t burdens at all?
When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
2 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting,[a] or should we keep looking for someone else?”
4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. 6 And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.[b]’”
7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? 8 Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. 9 Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. 10 John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way before you.’[c]
11 “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! 12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing,[d] and violent people are attacking it. 13 For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time. 14 And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come.[e] 15 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
16 “To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
17 ‘We played wedding songs,
and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn’t mourn.’
18 For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man,[f] on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”
Judgment for the Unbelievers
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God. 21 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.[g] For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. 24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”
Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
I’m fascinated by the idea of being able to find rest through carrying a burden. But not all burdens provide rest. We can find rest by wearing Jesus’ yoke and bearing his burdens. In being coworkers with Christ in the great work for which He gave His life, we will find true rest. Our work is not to gather up burdens of our own. As we take the burdens that Christ would have us, then we can realize what burdens He carried. Let us study the Bible, and find out what kind of yoke he bore. We often think we are having a hard time in bearing burdens, and it is too often the case, because God has not made any provision for us to carry these burdens; but when we carry His yoke and carry His burdens, we can testify that the yoke of Christ is easy and His burdens are light, because He has made provision for these. But when you feel depressed and discouraged, do not give up the battle; you have a living Savior that will help you, and you will have rest in Him.
We cannot do this of our own. We must take hold of the arm of God and say “I am nothing, You are everything. You have said, ‘without me you can do nothing.’ Now, Jesus, I must have You abiding in me, that I may abide in You.” Then step by step advance by living faith abiding in Jesus Christ. This is wearing His yoke, the yoke of obedience.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.