Learning the Two-Step

Two oxden harnessed to a yoke
Two oxen harnessed to a yoke. Coloured etching, ca 1808, after Scott (Cropped). This file comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom. https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/44/62/0d7400434ee72f332fd8cf8fa288.jpg. Wkikimedia Commons

We live in a world that seems to be spinning out of control in many ways. Between advancements in technology and what appears to be the loss of our moral compass, it is very easy for believers to become weighed down by the burdens of our lives and our callings. One great verse that is often quoted and stood upon to deal with the battle in weary souls of believers is found in Matthew 11:28:

28 Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 

These powerful words spoken by Yeshua (Jesus) were intended to encourage His disciples to seek rest in Him only, which includes those of us who are His disciples today. Too often, however, believers come to Yeshua seeking their burdens to be removed and to receive their rest and leave somewhat unfulfilled. The reason that they leave unfulfilled isn’t because Yeshua didn’t keep His promise. It is because too many believers stop reading after verse 28, while Yeshua didn’t finish His instructions until verse 30. 

Let’s look at this promise again in its context.

28 Come to Me, all 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.”

You will notice that when we keep the complete sentences together, there are actually two parts to Yeshua’s instructions. 

Step One: Come to me.

Step Two: Take My yoke upon you.

If the burdened soul will do both steps they will find rest for their souls. Too many of us do Step One, but fail to do Step Two. We gladly come to Yeshua. But, most of us do not complete Step Two. 

To understand a little more about Step Two, we have to take a moment to think about what a yoke is. A yoke is a device that is used to connect two work animals, such as oxen or horses, so that they can walk in unity in the same direction under the control of the one guiding them. With this in mind, let’s look again at the promises given here by Yeshua.

If we are weary and burdened and searching for rest, we should come to Yeshua who will give us rest (Step One). How will He give us rest? We take His yoke upon us by joining together with Him to work for the Kingdom in unity, walking and pulling in the same direction as we follow the leading of the Father (Step Two). We read in John 8:28:

28 So Yeshua said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am. I do nothing by Myself, but speak just what the Father has taught Me. 29 The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him.”

So, if you have become weary and burdened, please remember that it is only after we both come to Him and take His yoke upon us that we will find rest for our souls. But don’t worry because He also promises that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.