"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls."

// Matthew 11:28, 29 (AMP)

Jesus sees that our souls are burdened with a heavy weight, too great for us to carry. Here in Matthew 11:28-29 our soul is likened to an ox, worn down and about to collapse under the weight of a heavy yoke. The effect of sin has thrown us into a vicious cycle of works, where we need to plow further, push harder, and work to prove our worth — to no lasting success. Our souls are worn out trying to make things right in our life.   

To try and relieve the pressure on our souls we chose from all sorts of options, hoping the burden will lessen: fame, success, wealth, pleasure, substances and so on. God is not against the material world; He invented and uses it for His glory, soneither the problem or answer is material or physical. There is a much deeper issue needing a solution.

Jesus sees this heavy weight as too great for us to carry. He invites us to come to Him and promises relief, ease, refreshment, recreation, and quiet for our souls. It’s fascinating that these things, which we search for every day, are found in one person: Jesus Christ. What if we came to Jesus and let Him take the yoke from off of our soul? How different would life be? What emotions and joy would fill our lives?  

When a new young ox was learning to plow a field, the farmer would put a larger, stronger, experienced ox on the other side of the young ox to teach it the motion and rhythm of plowing a field. The strong ox would take all the weight of the yoke so that no pressure would rest on the shoulders of the young ox.

Jesus is the strong ox next to us in life, taking the pressure off of our souls and uponHimself.  We do not have to work to save ourselves or plow and toil in the field of righteousness for our salvation. He took the full weight of the Cross and the yoke of our sin and slavery.

As we come to Him, we are saying, “please take this yoke, please shoulder this for me.”

Faith is believing that He can and will do this. As we place our faith in Him we come near enough for Him to be the stronger ox.

Rest in this great news today and feel the weight lift off your soul. This is our worship,we come to Him.

// Josh Kelsey