Being together with Jesus

544 together with JesusWhat does your current life situation look like? Do you carry loads in life that depress and plague you? Have you used up your energy and gone to the limit of what you can afford? Your life, as you experience it now, tires you, although you long for deeper rest, you can not find any. Jesus calls you to come to him: "Come to me, all you who are laborious and laden; I want to refresh you. Take my yoke on you and learn from me; for I am meek and humble of heart; you will find peace for your souls. For my yoke is gentle, and my burden is light »(Mt 11,28-30). What does Jesus command us through his appeal? He names three things: "Come to me and take my yoke upon you and learn from me".

Come to me

Jesus invites us to approach and live in His presence. He opens a door for us to develop a closer relationship through being with him. We should be happy to be with him and to stay with him. He invites us to cultivate more fellowship with him and get to know him more intensively - so that we are happy to know him and trust him in who he is.

Take my yoke on you

Jesus tells his audience not only to come to him, but also to take his yoke. Notice that Jesus not only speaks of his "yoke," but declares that his yoke is, as it were, "his burden." A yoke was a wooden harness that was attached to the neck of two animals, mostly oxen, so that they could collect a load of goods together. Jesus makes a clear distinction between the burdens we already carry and the ones He tells us to carry. The yoke connects us to him and involves a new close relationship. This relationship is part of being able to walk in communion with Him and in communion with Him.

Jesus did not call us to join a large group. He wants to live in a personal two-way relationship with us that is close and omnipresent, to be able to say that we are connected to him like a yoke!

To take on Jesus' yoke means to live our whole life according to Him. Jesus calls us into an intimate, consistent, dynamic relationship in which our understanding of Him grows. We grow in this relationship with the One with whom we are connected in the yoke. As we take up our yoke, we do not seek to earn his mercy, but grow to accept it from him.

Learn from me

To be ensnared by Jesus under the yoke means not only to participate in his work, but by the relationship with him to learn from him. The image here is that of a learner who is connected to Jesus, whose gaze concentrates fully on him, instead of just walking by his side and staring in front of him. We should walk with Jesus and always receive our perspective and directions from Him. The focus is not so much on the load, but on the one to which we are connected. Living with him means learning more and more about him and truly recognizing who he really is.

Gentle and light

The yoke that Jesus offers us is gentle and pleasant. Elsewhere in the New Testament, it is used to describe God's kind and benevolent actions. "You have tasted that the Lord is kind" (1, Peter 2,3). Luke describes God: "He is kind to the ungrateful and evil" (Lk 6,35).
Jesus' burden or yoke is also "easy". This is perhaps the strangest word used here. Is not a load defined as something heavy? If she is easy, how can she be a burden?

His burden is not simple, gentle and light, because it is less burden than our own to carry, but because we are concerned about our participation in his loving relationship, which is in communion with the Father.

find silence

By sharing this yoke and learning from Him what Jesus tells us, He gives us rest. For emphasis, Jesus repeats this thought twice, and the second time he says that we find rest "for our souls." The concept of rest in the Bible goes far beyond merely interrupting our work. It ties in with the Hebrew idea of ​​Shalom - Shalom is God's purpose for his people to have prosperity and well-being and to know the goodness of God and his ways. Think about it: what does Jesus want to give to those he calls to himself? Healing rest for their souls, refreshment, holistic well-being.

We can conclude that other burdens that we carry with us when we do not come to Jesus make us truly weary and leave us no peace. To be with him and to learn from him is our sabbath rest that reaches into the depths of who we are.

Meekness and humility

How is it that Jesus' meekness and humility enable him to give us rest for the soul? What is Jesus especially important? He says his relationship with the Father is a relationship of true giving and receiving.

"Everything is given to me by my father, and no one knows the son except the father; and no one knows the Father as only the Son and whom the Son wants to reveal it to »(Mt 11,27).
Jesus received all things from the Father because the Father gave them to him. He describes the relationship with the Father as a relationship of mutual, personal and intimate familiarity. This relationship is unique - there is no one but the Father who knows the Son in this way, and there is no one but the Son who knows the Father in this way. Their intimate and eternal closeness involves a mutual familiarity with each other.

How does Jesus' description of himself, as meek and heartfelt, hang with the description of the relationship he has with his father? Jesus is the "recipient" who receives from the One whom he knows intimately. He not only bows outwardly the will of the Father to give, but gives generously what has been freely given to him. Jesus is happy to live in the tranquility that comes from sharing the discerning, loving and giving relationship with the Father.

Jesus' communion

Jesus is dynamic and constantly connected to the Father under the yoke, and this bond has existed for ages. He and the Father are one in a true relationship of give and take. In the Gospel of John Jesus says that he only does and says what he sees, hears and commands the Father. Jesus is humble and meek because he is connected to his father in his sure love.

Jesus says that the only ones who know the Father are the ones he chooses to reveal to them. He calls out to everyone who has recognized that they are laborious and laden. The call goes to all the people who are laborious and burdened, it really affects everyone. Jesus is looking for people who are ready to receive something.

load sharing

Jesus calls us to a "load exchange". The commandment of Jesus to come, to take, and to learn from, implies the commandment to let go of the burdens with which we come to Him. We give it up and give it to him. Jesus does not offer us His burden and yoke to add to our own existing burdens and yokes. He gives no advice on how we can carry our loads more efficiently or effectively to make them seem easier. He does not give us shoulder pads so that the straps of our loads push us less incisively.
As Jesus calls us into a unique relationship with Him, He challenges us to hand over everything that weighs on us. When we try to carry everything ourselves, we forget who God is and no longer look to Jesus. We no longer listen to him and forget to know him. The burdens we do not put off are contrary to what Jesus actually gives us.

Stay in me

Jesus gave his disciples the command to "stay in him" because they are his vine and he is the vine. "Stay in me and me in you. How the vine can bear no fruit from itself, if it does not remain on the vine, so you do not, if you do not stay with me. I am the vine, you are the vine. Whoever stays in me and I in him, brings much fruit; because without me you can do nothing »(Joh 15,4-5).
Jesus calls you to recapture this wonderful, life-giving yoke every day. Jesus strives to empower us to live more and more in his soul-calmness, not only when we are aware that we need them. To share in his yoke, he will show us more of what we still wear, which truly creates weariness and keeps us from living in his rest.
We think we could take on his yoke later, after mastering the situation and calming things down. Then, when they are in order, when it is more practical to live and act in a position where we get our daily rest from it.

Jesus the high priest

When you hand over all your burdens to Jesus, remember that he is our high priest. As our great high priest, he already knows all the burdens and has taken them upon himself and takes on ours. He has taken on our broken lives, all our problems, struggles, sins, fears, etc., and made his own to heal us from within. You can trust him. You do not have to worry about surrendering: old burdens, new struggles, small, seemingly trivial burdens, or those that seem overwhelmingly large. He is ready and always faithful - you are connected with him and he with the Father, all in the Spirit.

This growth process of getting used to the full bond with Jesus - the turning away from you to him, the new life in his rest - continues and intensifies your whole life. No present or past struggle and no concern is more urgent than this appeal to you. Why is he calling you? To himself, to share in his life, in his own rest. You should be aware of this when you carry the wrong loads and carry them with you. There is only one burden that you are called upon to wear and that is Jesus.

by Cathy Deddo