Eugene Peterson, in the Message, translates this passage from Matthew 11 in this way:
28 “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. 29 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. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Jesus said that we ought to learn the “unforced rhythms of grace” from Him and not from any man or woman, but from Him.
He declared that He would not lay down anything heavy on us or that which is ill fitting. When was the last time that happened to you in a Christian community or gathering? That long eh? Never you say? Wow… sounds pretty consistent with the testimonies of many others.
We were not called out of the bondage of darkness to suffer the awful bondage of religion! Jesus promised that we would not have to bear the heaviness of religion and its rules and regulations and its hyper spiritual slogans that are the very chains and shackles that oppress and control us. These do not fit! These were never meant to fit. Is it any wonder we get oppressed and burdened? Our inner man knows were were not designed for such oppressive bondage and control. We were not brought out of the bondage and yoke of darkness to have another oppressive yoke put on us that would just as readily control and manipulate and coerse as the other.
Here is what fits us, and what is available to us… and this is what breaks this oppressive yoke. We first need to find our rest in Jesus. It is by keeping company with Jesus and experiencing intimate life in Him that we “learn to live freely and lightly” and get to know first hand the “lightness of being” of our real and true self, found only in passionate relationship with Him, the same relationship He has with the Father.
So brothers and sisters, it is time to break the yoke! We all need to go back to square one, we need to rest in Jesus and “learn the unforced rhythms of grace” where we are truly free to be who God has always intended us to be, free and light, released from the choking burden of the yoke of oppression that other believers and people place upon us!
Rise up! Break free! Come and draw near to Jesus and find your rest in Him! He will take the yoke from you and make it all light again, full of His life and grace and abound in His love! It is time to trade in our sorrows! It is time to trade in the awful yoke of religious bondage and oppression!
“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.” – Jesus –