There are a lot of words we just use or hear and never really know what they mean. a La Carte was one of those for me. I thought it was a fancy French way to keep from knowing I was eating snails. Yuck! But thanks to the internet age and searches we can find and learn instantly. a La Carte is simply a menu where you can order individual items and not preset meals.
So today is a La Carte and it comes from a question on Matthew 11:28-30. I referenced this passage in a previous Lunch Bite and someone asked what it might mean that they keep coming to this passage in their Bible reading, devotional reading, or referenced by others.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”” (Matthew 11:28–30)
So lets begin first by stating that any passage in scripture has only one interpretation. You cannot derive different meanings from one passage.
In this case Jesus had just rebuked in woe the unrepentant cities and this passage is followed by the declaration that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. In this passage Jesus states that the true rest that comes only from peace with God is to be yoked, hitched, in bondage to Christ.
Because it would make little sense if we are tired and weary and seeking rest to take up another burden, a yoke that was used to work oxen. Jesus is using a contrast of rest and work to show what one truly needs. The burdens are the burdens of sin, of this life and world, of daily living, and focusing on self. Jesus’ yoke is to focus on what he has done to take away that sin by being completely focused on Him. In a yoke shoulder to shoulder, neck to neck you can get real focused on the other person. Following Jesus’ lead, letting Him guide us, and let His yoke of humility always remind us of God’s grace toward us as sinners.
Once we understand the passage a little better then we are in a position to ask why is God bringing me to this passage. Prayerfully and letting God search you heart let him reveal to you what you need from this passage.
What sin has become a burden? Of course all sins are a burden but we tend to pile on more and more and the weight of our favorite sins cling closely and prevent us from running with endurance the race set before us.
This is real important that we not neglect the sins of self and how we may have tried to do everything our way. In the process we have drifted from God and the rest that comes from His peace.
Let God lead you through life. Jesus being in the yoke means that success is certain if will not fight the yoke but instead live humbly in whatever God shows us. If we are continually encountering this passage it seems certain that God is saying that he sees the burden, knows the fatigue, and is ready to take that from you. Do you know the burden? if not ask God. Are you tired? Ask God. All of this is to come before God seeking to be nearer to God, to experience Him more in life, and letting the joy of God be our greatest desire.