“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30


When I began my journey with Jesus, this invitation gave me great comfort. I had for many years dealt with depression, mania and psychosis. As a new Christian, Jesus’ words brought me close to him. I felt his presence–welcomed it. Through these verses Jesus gave me what I had been needing. I didn’t have to be alone with my struggles. He promised to be with me, no matter how hard life might become. And he would give me the peace I longed for.

While I was weary and needing more than the world could offer, Jesus humbly bent down to me and called me to himself. What comfort when you’re feeling lost! What comfort when you need to know that you belong to Someone!

It was a relief!

At the time of Jesus, the Jewish people were under the authority of the Mosaic Law, said to be yoked (submitting to) Moses. They were yoked to the Pharisees, religious authorities who upheld that law. The Pharisees had developed a system of 613 laws and called for those to be strictly adhered to. But Jesus said that if they truly knew God and understood what mattered to him, they would not overemphasize rules so much.

Jesus had some very strong words for the Pharisees, especially concerning their hypocrisy. They lacked the humility men of God should have.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25)

As I came to know Jesus and to appreciate his message, the invitation to accept his yoke by submitting to him lit a flame in me. I wanted to learn from him and to follow his example by working for the good of others the way he did. Jesus promised this work wouldn’t be heavy because he would be right beside me to help me carry it.

I wanted to serve, and I needed rest for my soul as well. Jesus assured me I would have both.

Have you heard such a call from Jesus?