«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»(Matthew 1 1:29).
FROM THE SAND on the beach, we could see the seagulls flying in the midst of a wonderful blue sky. My little girl, who was one year old at that time, walked around smiling as she pointed to those birds while I talked to her about them. In time, I discovered some interesting facts about seagulls. For example, did you know that seagulls weep through their beaks? Seriously! That is the way these birds get rid of the excess salt they ingest when they drink sea water. That is why their tears are white in color. Even they know that everything that is in excess must be gotten rid of in one way or another— if not, it will do us harm.
We human beings also need to eliminate excesses from our lives, and I am not referring to food or consumerism; I am referring to getting rid of emotional tensions, anxieties, worries, uncertainties, and other mental «burdens» that we accumulate and that poison our souls. Paradoxically, the way Jesus suggested to set us free from them was by taking His yoke. Blessed are the paradoxes that Jesus taught us.
The yoke has a bad name because we see it as an instrument of enslavement, of subjection (and the Bible also presents it with this interpretation in other passages); however, the yoke was created to make the burden lighter (see Matthew 11:30) and the work of a farm animal more bearable. That is what Jesus meant for us: to teach us to live a lifestyle that agrees in such a way with His principles and teachings that doing His will is most natural for us.
«He who truly loves Christ will delight to do His will (see on Ps. 40:8). Those who take the ‘yoke’ of submission to the Master, who ‘come’ to ‘learn’ in His school, will find the ‘rest’ of soul He has promised. The heavy burden of legal righteousness, of trying to gain salvation by means of merit supposedly earned by one’s own works rather than secured through the merit of Christ, and the still heavier burden of sin itself, will all be rolled away» (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 390).
When we begin to bear Christ’s yoke, we will exclaim with the greatest conviction: «I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart» (Psalm 40:8).