Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

—Matthew 11:28-30

Who is this passage for?  Those who are weighed down by their sense of the weight of their sin before a holy God.

What two actions are to be taken?  First, yoke up with Jesus.  A yoke connects two animals, like oxen for instance.  Once yoked, they cannot go in different directions.  They must go together, as one.  Yoking up with Jesus means connecting with Him, desiring to go where He goes.

   Second, learn from Jesus.  This underscores that He leads those who yoke up with Him, not the other way around.  This is also translated “learn of Me.”  Not only is Jesus the Teacher, Leader, and Guide for those who yoke up with Him, He is the subject we are to learn, the example we are to follow, and the goal we are to pursue.

What is the promise Jesus offers?  Because Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart, He promises those who yoke up with Him that instead of being weary and heavy laden, we will find rest for our souls.  We will find rest from the crushing guilt and condemnation of sin; rest from the burden of trying to be good enough, and/or religious enough—neither of which can anyone accomplish.

    That His yoke is easy doesn’t mean that the Christian life is one of no problems.  What it does mean is that yoking up with Him means He carries us and our load.  And though the world’s yoke promises fulfillment, it does not, whereas the promise of yoking up with Jesus is eternal and ultimate rest in Heaven.  Compared with the burden of being yoked up with the world, being yoked up with Jesus truly is no burden at all.

May all who have ears to hear, hear the words of our Lord in this passage.