Jesus’ final statement in Matthew 11:30 uses the imagery of bearing a burden: “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (NKJV).
Moses was delighted to see his father-in-law Jethro after Israel had left Egypt and crossed the sea. Read Exodus 18:13-22. What does bearing another person’s burden look like in this story?
Exodus 18:13 tells us that people came to Moses for judgments from morning until evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw this, he earnestly pleaded with his son-in-law to establish a structure that would allow him to focus on the big things while trusting others to take care of the more mundane things. Scripture tells us that Moses listened to Jethro’s voice and implemented these life-giving changes.
When Jesus told us that His burden is light, He wanted to remind us that we can rely on Him, the ultimate Burden Bearer. Like Moses, we must learn that we need others to share our burdens. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Paul’s imagery of the body of Christ offers a good illustration of what shared burdens may look like. We need a functioning body to be able to carry any weight. We need legs, arms, shoulders, muscles, and sinews to carry anything.
Read Galatians 6:2. How does bearing one another’s burdens help us fulfill the law of Christ?
The immediate context of this passage may offer some help. In Galatians 6:1, Paul states that if a brother or sister falls into temptation, we are to restore that person in a spirit of gentleness (remember Jesus’ claim in Matthew 11:29 that He is gentle). Burden bearing means restoring someone who has gone off the track in order to help that person see divine grace. But it also means helping one another when we, or they, suffer hardship. The Greek term for “burden” can refer to a heavy weight or stone. It’s a reminder that we all carry burdens and that we all need those who can help us carry the burden. Burden-sharing is a divinely ordained church activity requiring gentleness and producing compassion.
|Think about the last time someone helped you carry a burden that you were struggling under. Why did that mean so much to you? Whose burden can you help carry now?|