Richard Harbur - Didsbury II Convention - Wednesday Evening, July 18, 2007

Matthew 11:28 – 30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  “Come unto me” – an invitation from Jesus.  I’m glad we made it to convention but we have further to go.  We need to come to Jesus.  That’s where there’s rest and peace.  It’s not enough to come to meetings, or come to convention; that’s good, but we need to get in touch with Heaven; we need to touch the throne.  No one was excluded in the invitation.   It was to “all who labour and are heavy laden.”  We may have come burdened down with the cares of life, with the burdens of mistakes, with burdens of the past that we are carrying.  I don’t know if you’ve been in a bookstore recently, but there is a huge self-help section.   We need to get help, but self-help doesn’t take us far.  Without the Lord, it’s not going to take us very far or very deep.  He promises us rest.  The rest He gives is wonderful!  Natural rest is so restorative.  We could be worn out at the end of the day, and sore and aching, yet in the morning we awaken feeling refreshed and able to work again.  The same is true spiritually; the rest He offers renews and refreshes our spirit and soul. When I was young, sometimes my father would be away at night. Since I was the eldest child in the family, before going to bed, I checked the doors and locked them, but when Dad returned, I just went to bed and rested.  I had full confidence in my father that he would lock the doors and we’d be safe.  May our confidence in our Heavenly Father be increased here at convention and may we know rest.


Then Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.”  This would seem to be a contradiction, but in reality it is not a contradiction.  However, it is a contradiction to our human thinking.  Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” What do you do for pleasure?  Do you know what the Lord did when He wanted to have pleasure?  The Lord made us when He wanted to have pleasure.  Pleasure is really living for others; it’s not living for self. Rest is found when we are willing to take the yoke. 

II Corinthians 6:14 speaks of not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  Two different animals yoked together would be unequally yoked together.  One might go one way and the other go in another direction and the result would be miserable.  The same is true spiritually.  If we are yoked with Jesus and yoked with someone who is an unbeliever, it is a miserable situation.  We want to break every yoke except the yoke of Jesus.   We have fellowship when we are yoked with Jesus and we have fellowship with believers because of passing through the same experiences.  There will be communion, concord, unity, and unison in our walk, going together, step by step.  Being yoked with Jesus brings concord.  When yoked, we have agreement.  “Take My yoke and learn of Me.”  A young ox is yoked with an older ox.  Jesus is our older brother.  He’s been through it all before and we are learning how to respond, learning of Him. 

Verse 29 tells us Jesus is meek and lowly in heart.  He is our teacher, but more that that, He is humble.  He doesn’t upbraid us when we make mistakes.  He’s lowly — and we are learning humility when yoked with Jesus.  In Matthew 19:17 and Mark 10:17, someone came running to Jesus and kneeled to Him and said, “Good Master, what shall I do?”  Jesus’ response was “Why call thou Me good?  There is none good but one, that is, God.”  Jesus kept God separate, above Himself, separated, sanctified.  

John 5:19, Jesus said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do:  for what things soever He doeth, there also doeth the Son likewise.”  Verse 30, “I can of Mine Own Self do nothing; as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine Own will, but the will of the Father, which hath sent Me.”  Jesus for Himself felt He could do nothing except His Father would show Him.  Jesus, in His humility, had the response in His Father that He could do nothing, couldn’t judge the situation. 

“I am meek.”  Jesus was meek.  Moses, too, was meek.  Numbers 12:1, Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses and they said, "Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us?"  Moses was meek; he never defended himself, but God heard it and spoke up.  Verse 4, “The Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam," Verse 8, "and said, 'How come you speak against my servant Moses?'  And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them and Miriam became leprous and Aaron looked at her and she was leprous.”  God wanted Moses.  Moses knew how to fit in and submit to the Lord.  Moses interceded for Miriam.  Meekness is being more concerned about the rights of others and about the things of the kingdom, rather than the rights of self.  Jesus was concerned about the claims of His Father and His Father’s will more than His Own will. 

He said, “Come, rest a while,” but the multitude got there first and immediately Jesus had compassion on them.   He didn’t think about His Own weariness but on the rights of others.  James 1:21, “Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Jesus received His Father’s word in meekness.  The word had greater place in Jesus’ life.  When a branch is grafted in, it is grafted into a very specific place.   God puts His words in a very specific place and we need to accept it in meekness.  It could be a thought, a motive or an action and we need to receive it with meekness and give God’s word place.  

John 19:28 (Psalm 69:21), “Jesus knowing all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled said, 'I thirst.'”  This too showed the meekness Jesus had toward God’s work in His life.  May we learn how to respond to the word.  

He said, “My yoke is easy.”  Another version says my yoke is kindly.  The bond is charity.  The yoke of marriage can be wonderful, or it can be miserable.  Terrorists are yoked together too, but it is a yoke of hatred.  God’s people are yoked or bound together by charity.  Read I Corinthians 13 with this thought in mind.  Being yoked with Jesus takes care of the burdens of the past and the burden of the future.  He just asks us to carry the burden of today, to come to Jesus and learn of Him as we go through life together and have His help and power with us.


Hymn 223, "Lord, I Would Take My Yoke"