In Matthew 11 Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you 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)
People may imagine that they will find rest and peace on their own, but many instead find themselves under heavy burdens which they cannot escape. These burdens may include the burden of guilt, which can indeed be very oppressive, or the burden of being in a performance trap of some kind. For many people in the world, their place of employment is quite oppressive. In many places, bosses put a heavy workload on employees who fear they must comply with extra demands, or lose their job. Others are stuck in a religious performance trap where they are constantly pushing themselves to keep rules in order to obtain release from a guilty conscience. But it never works, because only Jesus Christ can truly release people from guilt.
Jesus offers rest to those who come to him. Rest from trusting one's own religious works and one's own efforts. However, Jesus is also very plan in the next two verses that this happens when people "take His yoke upon them" and "learn from Him". Effectively, we must voluntarily embrace the Lordship of Christ, and his leadership and direction in our lives.
We are promised that his yoke is easy, and His burden light. There is a yoke, there is a burden, but they are not heavy and severe like the burdens and yokes of Satan we are escaping.
Jesus mentions two of His personal qualities which recommend Him as master to us. First, he is gentle. Secondly, he is lowly in heart. He is not proud and harsh. This means that he always treats His servants and His harvesters with proper consideration. Praise God for that.
Jesus is open with us about the fact that we need to receive Him as Lord. Satan, however, is not so open. Satan is deceptive. Satan promises that we can be our own lords, while at the same time loading us down with heavy burdens.
If we refuse the yoke of the Lord we are going to end up with one of Satan's yokes. Therefore, it truly is a matter of embracing a kingdom to belong to. We are embracing the Kingdom of God. This is what salvation is all about.
The results of this salvation are peace – well being, and personal growth. We are going to be instructed by Jesus Christ if we come under His authority. This means we are going to grow in wisdom, in understanding, and in capacity – and much more. We are going to grow in our capacity to love and our capacity to believe the promises of God.
God has a wonderful future for us in His Kingdom. We need to trust Him to lead us and willingly take on the jobs He gives us, because these will be for our good and the good of others, not only for God's good.