"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
(This guest devotional is by Jon Walker, editor of the Purpose Driven Life On-line Devotionals.)
Most translations of Matthew 11:28-30 refer to the easy "yoke" of Jesus-"Take my yoke upon you..." But Eugene Peterson's paraphrase above captures the spirit of Jesus' teaching.
Jesus is looking for companions of compassion. Compassionate friends who will love others in the same way Jesus loves us. Jesus wants us to journey with him, get to know him, not run off to do things for him while we ignore him.
"Aren't you tired and burned out on all that religious stuff, anyway?" Jesus, in a sense, asks. "Look, come walk with me, and I'll help you get back your life, your real purpose. And even though it'll require some hard-very hard-work, you'll be energized by it because you'll be living a life of abundance. You'll be doing exactly what our Father created you to do, and more importantly, you'll be exactly who I want you to be."
There's still a chance Jesus may ask you to be a yoked-up plow-horse in service to God, but Jesus is more likely asking you to join his school of Christ as a student taking on the teacher's yoke.
This Christmas you can become a companion of compassion with Christ.
Jesus says, "Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29-30 NLT).
Jon Walker is the author of Growing with Purpose: Connecting with God Every Day, available through Saddleback Resources. Copyrighted 2009 by Jon Walker. Used by permission.