…a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench. (Matthew 12:20)
The gospel writer cites these words from the prophet Isaiah, saying that in Jesus they have been fulfilled (12:17). This was confirmed by our Lord only a handful of verses prior when He said, “I am gentle and lowly of heart” (11:29). More than anything else, you and I need a Savior who can say this and truly mean it. We are hounded each day by temptations that threaten to consume us, condemnation over our many sins, the soul-crushing burdens and pains of life, and accusations from the enemy concerning our laundry list of personal failures.
As we are bombarded and weighed down by these things, it is important for us to realize that none of it is coming from Jesus. When He comes across a bruised reed, He is not so cruel as to break it. When He encounters a faintly smoldering wick, He will not heartlessly snuff it out. No, He is gentle and lowly of heart.
So if you’re barely hanging on by a thread this week, you won’t hear Jesus barking orders at you, nor will He tell you to get your act together and stop being such a baby. Instead, you’ll hear Him say, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (11:28, 30).
When Jesus places His easy yoke upon you, you no longer have to bear the burdens of life in your own strength. He will instead give you a better way to live, enabling you to walk in step with the patterns of His Kingdom. Commentator Frederick Dale Bruner offers some great insight here:
“A yoke is a work instrument. Thus when Jesus offers a yoke, He offers us what we might think tired workers need least. They need a mattress or a vacation, not a yoke… But Jesus realizes that the most restful gift He can give the tired is a new way to carry life, a fresh way to bear responsibilities. Realism sees that life is a succession of burdens; we cannot get away from them; thus instead of offering escape, Jesus offers equipment [that] will develop in us a balance and a way of carrying life that will give more rest than the way we have been living.”
Isn’t that what you want? Look no further than Jesus. This is exactly what He is offering to each of us as we gather to worship Him this Sunday. So come to Him with your needs, your problems, your sins, your hurts, your unfulfilled desires, or whatever else burdens you. In the gentleness of His presence, you are invited to receive His easy yoke.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- What in your life has felt like a burden to you? What issue or problem has been weighing you down lately? How might Christ’s offer of true rest help you to carry that burden in a new way? Ask Him to show you, to give you His easy yoke. Pray that He would grant you the rest you’ve been searching for.
- Pray that people would find true rest in LifePoint’s worship gatherings this Sunday. Ask that the word of Christ would speak directly to the issues of our lives, and that we would be able to receive all that He wants to do in and among us.