We noticed already that Matthew’s use of “yoke” in this section echoes Judaism’s use of the term and that of other New Testament texts referring to a wrong understanding of the law.
The Greek term translated as “easy” in the NKJV in Matthew 11:30 can also be translated as “good, pleasant, useful, and benevolent.” Many people around us consider God’s law heavy-handed, difficult to comply with, and, at times, irrelevant. How can we help them to discover the beauty of the law and inspire love for the Lawgiver?
Parents always remember the moment when their child took that first step. A wobbly first step is followed by a tentative second step, then a third — and by then it’s most likely that the child will stumble and fall. There may be some tears and perhaps even a bruise, but once the child has felt the freedom of movement, he or she will get up and try again. Walk, fall, get up, walk, fall, get up. The sequence repeats itself many times before the child can walk securely. And yet, amidst stumbles and falls, there is a proud little face triumphantly declaring: Papa, Mama, I can walk!
Walking with Jesus may not always be easy, but it’s always good and the right thing to do. We may stumble; we may even fall; yet, we can get up and continue to walk with Him at our side.
In Galatians 5:1, Paul wrote: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (NKJV). What does that mean? How has Christ made us free? What is the difference between the yoke He asks us to carry and the “yoke of bondage” that Paul warns us against?
We can be sure that whatever exactly Paul meant by the “yoke of bondage,” he was not referring to obedience to God’s law, the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, it’s through obedience, by faith, understanding that our salvation is secure, not based on the law but on Christ’s righteousness covering us, that we can have true rest and freedom.
|Why is living a life of obedience to God’s law one of more restfulness than one in which we disobey that law?|