Wouldn’t it be a relief to know we could pick up the phone and ask Jesus how He would deal with a huge life change? In a sense, we can! We may not be able to sit down face-to-face with Him, but we can study His Word and glean from His perspective.
In Matthew 11:28–30 Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The following are five biblical perspectives that we can’t do without.
My family and I love to enjoy Woodland’s Christmas parade every year. Last year, as we were watching the floats pass by, I noticed a gentleman, festively dressed, following the horses in his John Deere tractor. Every once in a while, he would ensure the parade was clean by taking care of the waste of the animals using a big shovel.
Not to be an embarrassment to my kids or anything, but I couldn’t help but stand up and clap for the guy. Although he had an unpleasant job to do, he had a joyful jump in his step. My kids were wondering why I was randomly giving this guy a standing ovation, so I took a moment to teach them the importance of work—even if the job seems less than appealing.
A short while after, this gentleman was coming through again, and to my pleasant surprise, my four kids stood up and clapped for him and his job well done!
Work should not be a scary word or one that our culture shies away from. We, as followers of Christ, ought to have a respectable work ethic—following the example of our Saviour who said of Himself in John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” In order to see things as God sees them, we must work as Christ worked. May we not be afraid to take His yoke upon us.
Meekness is not weakness; it is strength under control. Imagine a Corvette going the speed limit! Although the Corvette has the power to do much more, the driver controls or tempers the speed. We also have the power and free will to live however we please, but as followers of Christ, we have God living inside of us directing our free will to be used for His glory.
The greatest picture of meekness is when our Saviour died on the cross for our sins. Knowing He could have called down angels, He still chose to suffer for our transgressions. In Matthew 11:29, He said, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Jesus also refers to Himself as lowly. The fact that the Son of God became a man demonstrates pure humility. We should follow in His footsteps by fighting the root of pride and humbling ourselves for His service.
James 4:6 promises, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
When Jesus tells us to “Take my yoke upon you…” in Matthew 11:29, He is asking us to submit our will and make His labor our life’s purpose.
Our Saviour exemplified submission to the Father when He told Peter, “The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). And, we are commanded to follow suit in Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
The yoke also represents unity. Just as two animals are yoked together to plow a field, so we as Christians should labor in unison—bearing one another’s burdens for the cause of Christ.
First Corinthians 3:9 reminds us that we are, “Labourers together with God.”
Psalm 133:1 reassures us the importance of unity, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
As Christian leaders and workers, we ought to consistently take inventory of our character and see if it matches the examples given to us from the life of Christ. The more we are like Him, the more of His perspective we will have and the more fruitful we will be for His kingdom.