February 3 I Friday
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…” —Matthew 11:29
For all who are weary and burdened, Jesus invites us to come to Him. We are told to take His yoke upon us, which is a relationship with the Father, and when we do, we enjoy His rule and reign in our life. If we miss the heart of Jesus’s invitation into relationship and simply embrace His teaching contained in the Scriptures, the danger for us is that His teaching can simply become a new burden to us and we will find ourselves again, weary and heavy laden by His teaching. Put differently, the teachings of Jesus were never meant to be divorced from a relationship with Him. He does not primarily invite us to His teaching; He invites us to Himself and then He teaches us—there is a big difference.
Before I was a pastor, I studied culinary for three years with 6,000 hours under chefs. When I was training under chefs, they did not give me books only or YouTube videos to go watch and learn how to cook. They actually came over to where I was working and—through proximity and relationship—would transfer knowledge over to me. I remember the first time I picked up a knife and did not know what I was doing. They would come over and say, “Hold the knife this way. This is how you cut and how you protect yourself from cutting your fingers off.” Then they started to talk about different ingredients, how to draw flavours and how to marry them together. The apprenticeship and learning that I experienced as a chef was in proximity; it was in a relationship. There was a transference of knowledge and skill by watching and learning from the teacher.
As we revisit Jesus’s invitation, what He is saying is, “Come to Me, and in proximity by My Spirit, I will make known to you the heart of the Father. I will reveal to you the relationship that sits at the centre of the universe and you will experience knowing the Father yourself.” Jesus will reveal the Father to us as we live and learn in relationship with Him, depend on Him and allow Him to carry us through life. This is not a one-time transaction. Jesus knows us and our tendency to weary ourselves. He knows that left to ourselves, we will wander off like sheep and fall into a pit of our own poor choices. Hence, He invites us daily, whenever we are weary or tired or heavy laden to come to Him.
We can come to Jesus and bring our failures to Him. Come and lay down the worries of life on Him. Come and find rest in Him. Come and learn from Him.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for inviting me into a relationship with You and for teaching me. No matter what happens in life, I am grateful that I can come to You and find rest.