Summary: Through his life, his teachings and his presence, Christ Jesus has given us the right tools to handle with ease every burden life can throw at us.
Matthew 11: 16 – 19; 25 – 30 / Easy Yokes and Light Loads
Intro: We live in a fast, instant kind of society. We want what we want and we want it right now! We have microwaves, drive-through fast food, pizza delivery, drive-up banking, drive-through car washes, e-mail and “instant messaging.” So, when it comes to the problems of life, we expect “quick fixes” and easy answers. When we suffer a headache or some sort of pain, we want something that will work faster and more efficiently. When life hands us deep, soul-wrenching pain, people turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. But there is no magic pill in a bottle, no quickie miracle cure.
I. It has been suggested that TV commercials teach a child 3 things:
A. 1) all problems are solvable, 2) they are solvable fast and 3) solvable through some agency of technology. (No Magic Wand by Steve Shepherd, SermonCentral.com)
B. Most problems in life are solvable, but not quickly. Often they are not solved with money, material things or machinery. Life is not like a movie that you can run backwards and cut out the parts you don’t like and seldom are there “do-overs” or second takes.
C. VS. 27 “All things have been handed over to me by my Father;” The sooner we let Christ Jesus take charge of our lives, the easier it will be to carry the burdens that we must bear.
II. VS. 28 – “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
A. Burdens – bodies that don’t do exactly what we want them to do, living life alone after the death of a loved one, coping with this world all alone, broken relationship with children, spouses or relatives, burdens of sin, temptation, guilt, conflicting loyalties, providing for our families, stress, cares, worries, situations that call for us to make choices that sometimes are not pleasant to make.
B. The rest that is mentioned here is not retirement --- it is a respite. Jesus isn’t talking about making the burdens go away! He is offering us a vacation; but not a vacation FROM something but a vacation TO something.
C. The word translated as REST is better translated as refreshment. It is not idleness, slackness of hand or spirit. It is not exemption from toil or any honorable demand.
III. There is a second part of the invitation from Jesus. Vs. 29 – “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” What we want from Jesus is a soft, fluffy pillow.
A. The Pharisees offered the people in Jesus’ day spiritual pillows. Just follow a long list of religious rituals and regulations and God will be happy. In many ways that’s the way we try to live. We fluff and twist, smash and pull, toss and turn in order to get our lives to resemble something comfortable.
B. Jesus doesn’t offer a pillow. He offers a an easy yokes and light loads. A yoke implies that 2 things have been joined together. Jesus doesn’t give you a pillow to selfishly sleep on; rather, he ties himself to you. You are not alone in this life. Your savior is with you, committed to you
C. The word EASY (GK. Chrestos) means WELL-SUITED or EASY-FITTING Followers of Jesus are not exempt from work; but are given the right tools to do the job. Have you ever tried to tighten a screw with a butter knife? It can be done; but, it is much easier to do with the right screwdriver. It’s even easier with an electric screwdriver.
Conclu: Through his life, his teachings and his presence, Christ Jesus has given us the right tools to handle with ease every burden life can throw at us.