Matthew 11:20-29 Oh For An Easy Yoke

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[e] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Oh For An Easy Yoke

A yoke is used to bind an animal to another animal so that they can drag farming equipment.  It seems like it would be a burden, but Jesus says that his is light.  How can I get such a light burden.  It seems that the burden would be light if I could just forget myself and focus my thoughts on the one whom I love.  If I knew better what it means to love Jesus, my yoke would be easier.  However, I try harder and harder to fix problems and as a result I burden myself.  I take things into my control and I burden myself.  I invent new loads to carry and I burden myself.

For example I have a new class called Foundations of Christian School Education.  No matter how hard I try to manage the class it seems to be mismanaged.  I plan the syllabus but it is unclear.  I write e-mails but they are misunderstood.  I do my best, but it isn’t good enough.  If only I could accept the fact that I am not Jesus and let him carry the burden of my misfiring class!  However, my own control issues are too easily apparent.  My own desire to fix things without Jesus shows more clearly how I need to be aware of who I am yoked to.  I should keep working on Foundations, but I should pass the burden over to Jesus.  I need to work out how one does that.  I am not sure how, but I will ask Jesus to show me.

Is there a burden that you are carrying?  Do you see Jesus asking you to offload it or let him carry it?


  1. Who does Jesus denounce?
  2. What does Jesus say about his burden?
  3. How does a person with a burden pass it on to Jesus?
  4. What burdens do you take on through perfectionism, desire for safety or control, or through a desire to please?
  5. How can your weakness be an opportunity to experience God’s strength?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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2 Responses to Matthew 11:20-29 Oh For An Easy Yoke

  1. Chelsea says:

    Jesus denounces the towns where people would not repent: Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.

    Jesus says that his burden is easy and light and he is gentle and humble in heart.

    Jesus tells us to take his yoke and to learn from him and then we will find rest. If we keep the gospel center-fold, always remembering God’s undying love for us, our burdens will become vastly insignificant compared to our everlasting inheritance and wholeness in Christ.

    I carry a burden of wanting to control my future. It is a scary thing not knowing what will happen or how things might work out. I can get so anxious about the future that I forget who holds it.

    Being completely dependent on God is a very vulnerable, humbling experience. But when I put my whole trust in God and give up my worries, I can see so much more clearly his grace and his work in my life.

  2. Kelli says:

    1. The towns where most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. Why is this? Why did the miracles not draw them to Christ?
    2. His burden is light.
    3. Jesus doesn’t just tell us to pass our burdens on to him. He asks us to replace our burdens with his burden. What is this burden that is light?
    4. Perfectionism has always been an issue for me. And pursuing perfection necessitates control. A lack of control results in fear. Fear breeds anger and depression….

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