22 Jul 2020
Jesus often had serious problems with many of the religious leaders of his day. It was not difficult to see the reason why. The religion which God had given to his Old Testament people was summed up by Jesus as "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... (and) you shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:37 - 39). But for centuries religious leaders had kept adding their own commandments on to what God had given with the result that their religion lacked love, it had become a fearful burden and had made a mockery of the way God wanted people to live and worship. It was for this reason that Jesus became angry with these religious leaders. They had placed an unbearable yoke upon the people.
In contrast to that Jesus called people to follow him. When we do follow Jesus we truly do begin to live the way God intended we should live, with hearts of loving trust in him, a glad obedience from hearts that have come to know his goodness and his mercy. Our attitude to others also changes — to love, even for those who oppose us.
This is the yoke Jesus wants us to carry. It is a yoke Jesus shares with us keeping our life in perfect balance so our religion is not a burden but a delight — a life of fellowship with Christ and of fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters. It is God's way for us to live.
Dear Lord, help me to carry the yoke with you all my days. Amen.