Society has become a restless. Computers and smart phones have given us the world at the click of an icon. Consequentially, we find ourselves urgently needing to return every text, to be notified as news breaks, and to update our every move for the world to see.
Indeed, the very technology that should be simplifying our lives has caused us to have a new level of impatience. But restlessness is not limited to the use of electronic devices. Family dinners have been replaced by drive-through meals. On a larger scale, many of us are wondering, “who can best lead our country in 2013 and beyond.” There is war and civil uprising almost everywhere in the world. For many, a steady sleep schedule is a myth.
We sit with family and friends…and if we do we dare not unplug ourselves from our electronics long enough to invest into the lives of one another. For me it’s my phone. I know many people in the Christian community that although they are certainly a believer in Jesus Christ, they find themselves trying to keep up with everything they feel their family, job, church, and their God is expecting of them.
So how do we find rest in such a restless word? In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden
I give you is light.”
The yoke mentioned is not the animal harness that was used in the by-gone days of farming. The “yoke” that Jesus was referring to was a student-teacher relationship that was common in the first century. In this mentoring bond, the student would leave his family for many years to study under an expert teacher of the Old Testament. Aside from the scripture that the student was made to memorize, the teacher would instruct his disciple in the customs of The Jewish people as well as impart to him a working knowledge of Israel’s history.
Jesus’ statement was one of comparison. We see this not only in the context of the scripture from Matthew 11 but in other sayings of Jesus that these teachers placed many undue burdens on the people of God, (Matthew 23:2-4). By offering His yoke, Jesus was inviting them, and us, to allow Him to be a mentor and to learn of His ways. Under His loving care, we would find that His yoke was easy and light. When Jesus used the term “easy to bear,” He means that the life He gives “fits properly” or is “good, mild, and pleasant”. Rest in a restless world comes from learning His ways and doing them.