And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath! Matthew 12:2 NKJV
Jesus and His disciples plucked heads of grain on the Sabbath. They ate them. The Pharisees criticized hungry men for eating. The religious authorities in Israel created over four hundred laws regarding the Sabbath. They were not the laws God gave to Moses.
When Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” He was referring to heavy burdens the religious leaders put on people. These are God’s people. The Lord chose them to be set apart for relationship with Him.
When Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” He is not making unreasonable demands the way the religious authorities did.
Jesus wants to guide us with a soft, gentle and loving hand. Jesus is offering us His love. Jesus wants to give us rest for our souls. When Jesus says, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” He makes it clear the Christian life should not be difficult!
Why is it so hard for us to live the way Jesus wants us to live? Like the Pharisees we have a tendency to be judgmental and critical. We want to turn the Christian life into something that is measurable and attainable in our own effort.
If the Christian life is reduced to a list of things I can and cannot do I can grade myself to see how I am doing. I can snoop around the lives of other Christians to see how they are doing.
Jesus wants to bless us with His love. He wants us to bless each other with His love. Jesus wants all people to know how much He loves us.
Nothing is easier than receiving the love Jesus offers. Nothing is harder than sharing the love of Jesus with each other. That is why Jesus tells us to be yoked together with Him. So He can lead us and guide us on a path to love!
How could the Pharisees tell the Lord of the Sabbath what was lawful for His disciples to do on the Sabbath? The same way we can ask God to judge other people for their sin and forgive us for ours!
Jesus wants to bless you with His love today. He wants you to bless other people with His love today. Jesus is not placing unreasonable demands on you. He is not asking you to do something that is impossible.
Be yoked together with Jesus today!
Don’t place heavy burdens on other people. Learn from Jesus. He is gentle and humble!
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