Jesus extends an invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus extends an invitation. The invitation is simply “come to me.” In this same gospel, Jesus says to a couple of would-be disciples “Come follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” The invitation contains no suggestion that Jesus meant come follow me but straighten up first. There were no behavioral modifications that must take place first, just the simple invitation to “come and follow Him.” Jesus made it so simple, yet many have done their best to complicate it over the years. Though the invitation is simple it is not simplistic. It will take me and you the rest of our lives to live out the implications of what it means to be a Christ-follower. All of us receive invitations in the mail. Often Susanne and I receive invitations to weddings and graduations across the country. Growing up in the church there was an entire genre of songs such as “Just As I AM, Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling, and Come Home” that was simply entitled “Invitation hymns. Jesus does say who the invitation applies to: “you who are weary and burdened.” He did not say only the handsome and well-connected, or the intelligent, or even the religious. Jesus said those who should come are the weary and burdened. That has just described every member of the human race. Yes, that is exactly right! Jesus extends an invitation to everyone.
The next action word is the word “take” in verse 29. The invitation is extended, are you ready to receive this gracious offer? Take is to accept the gracious offer from Jesus. But the invitation is an invitation to put on a yoke. More correctly, get fitted for your yoke. Jesus will be in the yoke with you. He does not say “work for me.” He says “learn” from me. This is discipleship, when we get up close to Jesus we learn from Him and we lean upon Him. I have learned many things being in the yoke with Jesus. I have learned that you can count on Him. When you think you can not take another step He is there guiding and leading and giving strength. You will learn that when you get to the end of your supply He is more than enough? He will give you strength, grace, and mercy. You do not have to be afraid of His yoke. He is gentle and humble in heart. What a great Savior. He is the one who is gentle and humble. He is not a tyrant, He does not browbeat us into submission. Jesus is gentle and humble! You can trust Him!
There is a wonderful promise in this short passage of Scripture: “..I will give you rest.” What good news for our worn out, burned out, fatigued world. There is a place of rest. It is not found in trying harder for self-reformation. It is simply found in these simple words: “Take my yoke upon you.. learn from me…for I gentle and humble in heart.. and you will find rest.” What a simple and beautiful invitation.
Jesus closes with these words: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Watching some believers you would believe that being a Christian is the most difficult thing in the world. listening to some you would think It is hard and difficult if not in fact impossible. Jesus did not describe it that way. His Yoke is easy and His burden is light. In this world, all of us are yoked to someone or something. The easiest thing is to be yoked with Jesus! His burden is light. There is no such thing as a burden-free life. All of us have burdens, but in the yoke with Jesus makes our burdens lighter, for there is one who will walk with us who we will help lighten the burdens we face.
So remember: Come…Take…Learn…Find.