Burdened v Freedom

Reflect

Matthew 11:20-30 “ Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

28 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 5:5 “ Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

Deuteronomy 18:15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,  

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Genesis 18:13-22  And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening.

14 So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?

15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.

17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.

19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Discuss

What surprises you from the Bible verses?

What do they teach you about people?

What do they teach you about God?

Is there a command to obey?

Who do I need to share this message with?

Study Notes

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Who hasn’t felt heavy-laden and burdened? Sometimes, we are worn down by life experiences with nowhere to turn, but Jesus offers a solution.

Given Jesus has walked our same road, He also knows our trials and burdens.

Jesus says, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light’ ” (Matt. 11:30, NKJV). In other words, get rid of the yokes and burdens you are carrying, give them to Me and take my yoke upon yourself, for Mine are easier to bear.

How can we experience the rest and freedom Jesus is talking about?
Matthew 11:28 begins with an imperative in the Greek original. “ ‘Come’ ” is not optional. “Come” represents the precondition to finding rest.

“Come” means that we need to surrender control. Feeling depressed, ‘come’, feeling lonely, and isolated, ‘come’. Feeling locked down perhaps even angry, then ‘come’ to me.

In a time when we can conveniently control many things in our lives via our smartphones, coming to Jesus is not a natural inclination. In fact, for most people, surrender is the toughest part of the Christian life.

After the first imperative ‘come’, two more imperatives follow in Matthew 11:29. “ ‘Take’ ” and “ ‘learn’ focus the attention of the reader on how we are to experience freedom and rest. We are to take His yoke and learn from Him.

The intimate relationship in the Godhead between the Father and the Son offers a powerful illustration that may explain the yoke metaphor in these verses. While the yoke is a symbol of submission (see Jeremiah 27), it also is a metaphor illustrating united purpose.

We submit to His yoke and accept the task He gives us to bless those around us. We are not carrying His yoke; we are just yoked to Him because His yoke “ ‘is easy’ ” and His burden “ ‘is light’ ” (Matt. 11:30).

The third imperative, “ ‘learn from Me,’ ” reiterates this concept. In Greek the verb “learn” is connected to the term “disciple.” When we learn from Jesus, we are truly His disciples.

Obedience and commitment are characteristics of discipleship. Being free and yoked to Jesus emphasises obedience and commitment to follow in His footsteps to participate in His mission.

While we cannot add anything to the salvation that Jesus has given us through His sacrifice on the cross, we can become His ambassadors and share this good news of freedom from sin with those around us.

While we search for freedom in different ways and places, Jesus offers one solution for lasting rest and freedom – come, take, and learn.

So rather than hanging on to experiences, feelings and emotions that bring guilt shame and pain, we are invited to cast them off and learn a new way and experience love, joy and peace.

Consider the ‘baggage’ you are carrying.

How can Jesus invitation to come, take and learn impact help you experience freedom?

 “Our lives may seem a tangle; but as we commit ourselves to the wise Master Worker, He will bring out the pattern of life and character that will be to His own glory.”

The Desire of Ages, pp. 331.

FINDING FREEDOM IN REST