Heavy Burdens and Unnecessary Fence Laws (Come, Follow Me: Matthew 11) – powered by Happy Scribe
In Matthew 11, Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Normally, when we read this verse, we think about oxen and how we are one ox and Jesus is the other, and he’s going to help us carry our burdens. I’m not saying that’s a bad interpretation. I just want us to consider an additional one. Right after this verse, and remember, there’s no chapter breaks in the original text. Right after Jesus talks about the heavy yoke, he encounters pharists who challenge him about fence laws. There may be a connection between these two passages. On another occasion in Matthew 23, Jesus said, The scribes and the Pharaohes sit in Moses’ seat. In other words, they’re giving out a bunch of laws. Jesus then says, They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be born. Do you see the connection between heavy laden and heavy burdens? It’s interesting to note that in ancient times, the Pharaohs fence laws were collectively known as the yoke of the law.
We see something similar in Acts 15. The Apostle had gathered together to discuss what rules gentile converts needed to follow. Notice this, when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up and said unto them, Why tempt ye God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? Again, we see the idea that a yoke is these extra rules and regulations. If we put these different pieces together, we see that another way to read Matthew 11 is that Jesus is saying, Come unto me, all you that are heavy laden with all these extra fence laws that aren’t really part of God’s law. Come unto me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. My yoke is love God, love your neighbor. You can do this. Remember what President Udvarff said, One person’s good idea, something that may work for him or her, takes root and becomes an expectation. It could be a great idea for that individual, but if a fence law becomes an expectation, then it’s a problem. To see more videos like this one, simply search Seeking Jesus. you.