Sermon Illustrations

When Jesus said these words later in Matthew (11:28-30), we see grace, “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.” The yoke literally was what the oxen wore as they plowed the field. But in Jewish culture, it was a symbol of a Rabbi’s teaching.

When Jesus said these words, he was telling us that his teachings are not meant to be a burden like the teachings of the Pharisees that follow all these lists and rules and regulations in order not to sin. His teachings bring life. They bring a life of knowing God and hearing His voice, which is what Jesus says in John’s Gospel as the very definition of eternal life” knowing God. Jesus’ yoke is not meant to weigh us down even though they seem to be such a higher standard than the Law. It is because they are driven by love. God’s love in us as we love others with the love of God. Love is supposed to free us. Judging, comparing ourselves to others, and striving after stuff, puts us in bondage