Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. During this ordinary season, our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary.
Source: the Revised Common Lectionary Year A
(Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 3 in ESV in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
11:16 “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
11:17 ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’;
11:19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants;
11:26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
11:28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
11:29 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.
11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In 2005 I had the privilege of being the main speaker for our South Fellowship women’s retreat, and I spoke on this passage. I researched yokes and found that each yoke was custom made for the animal that wore it. The animal’s body was measured so that the craftsman could cut the wood correctly, and then it was carefully smoothed so that nothing would cause chafing and pain.
The purpose of the yoke was to enable the animal to draw a heavier load safely without pain. Some yoke’s were intended for one animal and others
were for a pair yoked together with each side made to fit specifically for that animal. Two animals working together could do more than one alone.
It seems to me in verses 29 and 30, Jesus is saying that he desires us to work with him rather than for him, and he has a custom made yoke for each of us
to share with him.