I have an Easy Button on my desk. I push it sometimes just for fun. “That was easy!” People can’t seem to resist the big red disk. Almost everyone who comes into my office gives it a try.
“Easy” is a popular topic. Amazon has 171,584 books with the word “easy” in the title. “Easy Weeknight Dinners”, “Easy Weight Loss”, “Medical Surgical Nursing Made Incredibly Easy”. Wait…what?
The only time Jesus said something was easy He was discussing yokes and burdens. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
By the end of most days, I qualify as weary and burdened. Rest sounds good. Real good. I’m all for an evening in the recliner (also known as an easy chair), watching TV and drifting off by 9 o’clock. Ok…..8:30.
That’s why the next thing Jesus says is so jarring. Take my yoke. Weren’t we just talking about rest? Isn’t a yoke an implement used in work? I picture two oxen trudging through a field, collared by a heavy wooden bar across their shoulders, pulling a disc that turns over crusty, stony ground. It’s a dirty, sweaty scene — a far cry from my la-z-boy.
Jesus turns the whole idea of rest and work on its head. Resting isn’t the absence of labor — resting is yoking up with Him.
There’s an old Jewish legend that says the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth was known for making exquisite yokes. They were custom made to fit perfectly and finely balanced so as not to be cumbersome. Easy yokes to make light burdens.
Is it time for a trade-in? Your yoke for His?