30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Jesus calls unto Him all who “labour and are heavy laden”, that they may find rest for their souls (v. 28). But all those who come to Him must take His yoke upon themselves, and learn of Him (v. 29). He also assures them that He is meek and lowly in heart (v. 29), unlike other masters who are domineering and proud. Now, He further encourages all those who would come to Him, saying, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The yoke that Christ requires us to take is unlike all other yokes that man has come to know. All other yokes are heavy, burdensome and grievous. The yoke of sin, the yoke of the world, the yoke of Satan, the yoke of self-righteousness, the yoke of human efforts, the yoke of human traditions and all such are galling, enslaving and crushing. They leave the spirit of man in unbearable frustration, anxiety and despair.
But Jesus’ yoke that we are commanded to bear “is easy”. The Greek adjective translated “easy” (chrēstós) denotes what is good and pleasant. All that He will instruct us to believe and do are morally and spiritually good, profitable and delightsome to our souls. As the apostle John said, “his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).
Jesus also said that the “burden” that is attached to His “yoke” is “light” – “my burden is light.” The doctrines, counsels and commandments of Jesus to which we need to yield ourselves, are not at all heavy but light. They would never lead us to a troubled or burdensome life. Following His Word is not a painful drudgery, but a great deliverance from everything that could burden our souls.
Just as He has promised earlier, all who willingly pursue His command will only find rest for their souls. All those who have come to Christ to find the salvation rest He has promised, can confidently yield themselves to His yoke of tutelage. Under His blessed tutelage, we will experience joy and peace that no one else could provide. Under His loving rule, the wretched fear and despair that had wrecked our souls shall be completely expelled!
The teachings of Christ, if taken to heart, will indeed restore our whole being. Christ’s authoritative counsels are not only good for the soul, they also greatly benefit our physical life when properly heeded. The obligations of the Gospel show us the path of a restful life in Christ.