Scripture:  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Observation: John, who baptized Jesus, was in prison.  While there, his faith must have been tested severely and he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was indeed the Messiah he believed Him to be or if they should wait for somebody else.  Jesus responded by telling him to look at the evidence of His ministry, and then He told John’s disciples and others who were listening about the John’s high calling.  In is in connection with John’s unjust imprisonment that Jesus declares the words of today’s text.

Application: I find it interesting that Jesus seems to be thinking about John, his cousin, and what he must be feeling now being thrown in prison for standing and proclaiming what is right and true.  Jesus must have been thinking of so many of His disciples who would also experience persecution, imprisonment, and even death because of their convictions.
     At the same time, I couldn’t help but think how these verses apply to those who find themselves in a difficult marriage or with challenging family difficulties and Jesus extends to each of them, each of us, the promise that He’s ready to carry our heavy burden and instead give us his “yoke” which is so much lighter and better.  Think about it, Jesus invites us to bring to Him whatever situation where going through today, and He will take whatever it is on His shoulders, take them off our shoulders, and instead give something much better to have in their place.
     I think this is Jesus’ way of saying, “Don’t give up on your relationship!”  But it’s also His way of saying, “You don’t simply have to stay in a relationship that is making you miserable; let me have it and I’ll give you something a lot better and much more pleasant in its place.”  Don’t settle for “accepting what life has dealt you.”  Accept what Jesus offers you and enjoy life abundantly.

A Prayer You May Say: Dear Father, thank you that whatever challenge we may face in our married life or in our family does not have to be unbearable but that Jesus bears all our burdens in life and instead gives us what we can easily bear.  Take our burdens, dear Jesus, and help us to live life as you intended for us, life to its full.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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