The Light Burden of Truth
By Pastor J.D. Link
Mt 11:28-30 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
If we are to find rest for our souls and relief from hard yokes and heavy burdens, it is essential we come to Jesus. Joh 7:37 “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Mt 16:24 “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mt 19:21 “… come and follow me.” Mk 1:17 “…Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”
In order to lighten our burden, we must first come to Jesus. This means to believe on Him; to trust Him; to become His disciple. To not only come to Him initially for eternal life, but daily and hourly for every need. When we do this, He will give us rest. We will find rest for our souls, when we learn of Him and take His yoke upon us. His yoke is easy and burden is light. This yoke and burden is not to be thought of in the negative sense, as in Acts 15:10, 28, & Gal 5:1. It is a yoke and burden we desire.
So, we do see there is a yoke of Jesus, though an easy one. And there is a burden of Jesus, though a light one. To be free in Christ Jesus is not to be free from Him or His commandments. The New Testament speaks of the law of Christ; the law of love; the law of liberty. It is to be free from the hard yoke of the Law and the heavy burden of being your own savior. It is to be free from hard yoke of sin and the heavy burden of being controlled by the flesh.
Now, why is His yoke easy and burden light? Though the explanation is mine, the eight points I found in Poole’s commentary, and agreed with wholeheartedly.
1. “Nothing makes it hard or burdensome but our corruption, which floweth from the deprivation of human nature.” What’s hard or heavy about the Gospel itself? Nothing. Eternal life; boundless love; peace; fullness of joy; answered prayer – the blessings are endless. The hardness or heaviness comes from within ourselves (flesh), or from outside forces (persecution, attacks from the adversary). The burden or responsibility of truth, is only a burden because of our carnality and existence in this fallen world.
Like on the movie “The Matrix”, when we take the red pill, our eyes will be opened to the truth – and there is no going back. You can pretend not to see, in order to fit in with the world – but you are only pretending. You can’t see things the same, like when you take the blue pill, and remain in your oblivious existence. Though “light”, this is the burden – or responsibility – of truth. To whom much is given, much is required. And though on occasion you may briefly think life would be a lot easier if you didn’t know the truth – you also know you would rather be burdened with the truth, than “free” living a lie. I put free in quotes, because you’re really not free, but only think you are. Only whom Jesus makes free, is free indeed (Jn 8:31-32, 36).
2. “It is much easier than the yoke and burden of the law” (2Cor 3:6-9, Act 13:39). The yoke and burden of Jesus is nothing compared to that of the law. The law does not bend. It was a hard yoke and heavy burden – and did not lift a finger to help one keep it.
3. “Though it be hard to beginners, yet it is easy when we have once accustomed ourselves to it” (Rom 12:1-2). At first, because of the old flesh and unrenewed mind, the ways of Christ may seem hard. However, as you continue in the word and follow after Jesus, we find His ways are much easier than the Hard yoke and heavy burden of the law or of sinners.
4. “It is easy, considering that we do it not in our own strength, but by assistance from God, we are delivered even from the moral law, considered as a covenant, and as merely commanding us, and affording no help and assistance” (Jn 15:3, 13:10, Heb 8:10). Unlike the law of Moses, we actually get abundant help from God in the New Covenant. Jesus already bore our heavy burden, so that we can receive His easy yoke and light burden. He did for us, what we could never do for ourselves.
5. “It is also easy; as we are by the love of God constrained to our duty, so we are freed from the rigor of the law” (1Jn 5:2-3, 1Jn 4:19). Unlike the fear motivation under the law, love motivates us to follow Jesus and live for Him – or rather, Him live through us (Gal 2:20). This makes His yoke easy and burden light.
6. “It is easy and light, as it is a course of life highly consonant to our reason, once delivered from a bondage to our passions” (Isa 1:18). His yoke is easy and burden light, because it is reasonable. The ways of Christ are logical and reasonable. To live contrary to the lover our souls is unreasonable.
7. “It is much more easy and light than the service of our lusts is. There is no greater slavery than a subjection to our lusts…” (Rom 8:6, Gal 6:8). Contrary to the Devil’s lies, the way of transgressors is hard (Prv 13:15). Though he whispers his way is fun and easy, the end is always death and destruction. The life of sin is truly the hard life; but the life of righteousness is the true good life.
8. “To say nothing of the exceeding easiness of it, from the prospect of the great reward proposed and promised to those who keep the commandments of Christ, the exceeding and eternal weight of glory; as Jacob’s hard service of fourteen years seemed to him but a few days” (2Cor 4:17-18, Rom 2:7, 1Cor 2:9, 1Pt 1:7). The yoke and burden of Christ is worth bearing, because the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice. No matter how hard or heavy you may feel your walk as a disciple is at any time, always keep in mind the eternal weight of glory. Selah.