Verse of the Day and Devotion 6/27/2024

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Verse of the Day

by Bible League International,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence,

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“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 ESV


Jesus’ message of compassion and hope was spoken to a generation of people who had been bowed down with legalistic burdens by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus said that they “tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger” (Matthew 23:4). Although Jesus’ message was spoken to the people of His day, it speaks to any generation of people who struggle with the burden and guilt associated with legalistic teachings.

Legalism and humanism are two sides of the same coin. Legalism is the view that salvation must in some way include strict observance of a particular set of moral standards. It goes hand in hand with humanism, because the legalist assumes that human beings have the capability within themselves, if they want to, to observe the standards and thereby ensure salvation. Although those who uphold legalistic and humanistic views do not usually express them in such bold terms as is done here, the message gets across nonetheless. And it is burdensome to people and hard to bear.

Jesus invites those who are listening to take His yoke upon them. “Yoke” in this context should be understood as a metaphor for the “way to salvation.” Jesus’ invitation is for His hearers to put off the yoke of the scribes and Pharisees and take up His yoke. The scribes and Pharisees laid heavy yokes on people and did nothing to lighten the load. Jesus asks people to take up His yoke and His yoke is easy. His yoke is easy to carry, of course, because it does not consist of strict obedience to a complex system of moral standards, but faith in Him as the fulfillment of every moral standard.

If you are struggling today with the burden and guilt of a legalistic yoke of teaching, then consider exchanging it for Jesus’ yoke, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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