Sunday, October 19, 2008

Heavy vs. Light Burdens

As I was reading in Matthew 23:4, I made an interesting connection. In this verse, Jesus describes the hypocrisy of the scribes and the Pharisees, saying that they "..bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders.. In the previous verse, Jesus tells his disciples to do what the Pharisees tell them to do because they sit in "Moses' seat." However he warns them not to do as the Pharisees do -- saying but not doing (being hypocrites). Returning to verse 4, he continues to say that "[the Pharisees] themselves will not move [the burdens] with one of their fingers." Thus, the Pharisees of whom Jesus spoke expected others to do things that they theselves did not do, or that they did not assist with.

As I read this verse, it reminded me of Matthew 11:28-30. Here Jesus tells us to take his yoke upon us for "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." A yoke is used to join two animals so that they can carry the same load together. So, when Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon us, we know that he will help us. He isn't asking us to do anything that he hasn't done already or that he wouldn't help us with. Contrast this to the load of the hypocrites. While the hypocrites give burdens to men, they themselves do nothing to help or don't lift the burdens themselves and the burdens are heavy. However, Christ's burden is light. Because of the atonement, we are free from the chains and the load of sin. Our burden in that sense is lighter. The burden of following Christ is also lighter because as we do so, we will have clean consciences and we won't be wieghed down by the effects of sin. We will be light and joyful because our master is gentle and kind and does not expect us to do things without his help "for the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepaer a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7 (in the Book of Mormon)).


Robyn said...

Kaylie, you have a blog?! I'm so glad I know about it now.
These are good thoughts--thanks for sharing! I like how Jesus used great imagery to teach principles to help us understand.

Kaylie said...

Yes, I'm pretty new and inexperienced with blogging.
Thanks for your comment! I agree. It really is neat how the imagery helps us to understand concepts so much better.