One day Jesus gave an invitation to everyone that was oppressed. "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavyladen. 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." When Jesus gave this invitation He gave it to an oppressed people. The Jews hated the Romans. The Romans had conquered them. The Romans built temples on the sacred temple mount to worship their false gods. Everywhere the Jews looked their were Roman statues and insignias on buildings. Roman soldiers stood guard on the streets. Constant reminders that they were not a free people. There was great poverty and disease. Many times the doctor's cure was worse that the sickness itself. The doctor's cure only made the patient worse instead of better. Why did Jesus give this wonderful invitation? I believe that He wanted to let people know that in this world of sickness and oppression, that there was a place of refuge. A place of safety. A place of rest. That place of rest is found in the arms of the Lord. This invitation is for us too. For we too live in a world of oppression. Some may be oppressed by alcohol. Some may be oppressed by drugs. Some may be oppressed by depression. There are a lot of books and magazines on depression, because a lot of people have it. Some are oppressed with worries and fears, so much that they can't eat and sleep. Well Jesus has good news for us today! Please let me yoke up with you! Whenever a farmer would hook up his oxen to plow a field, he would put his most experienced ox with a younger ox that didn't know how to plow. The experienced ox would teach the new ox how to plow. The new ox may buck and bull, but the older ox is stronger and the new ox must go whether he wants to or not. The older ox controls the new ox. There are many people yoked to the wrong type of ox. Some are yoked to alcohol and drugs. Some are yoked to excessive worry, doubts, and fears. Some are yoked to depression. These types of oxes are hazardous to our health physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are relentless, and unmerciful, causing health problems and sleepless nights and restless days. But Jesus came to yoke up with us. For He tells us that His Yoke is easy and His burden is light. Our Savior, unlike the older ox, is gentle and kind, and we can even find rest. Do you need rest today? What have you been yoked to? Have you allowed Jesus to yoke up with you? Jesus asks you today, "Will you let me yoke up with you?" Amen.
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