Is religion hard or easy? Is it complicated or simple? If you listen to some teachers, you would think that there is nothing to it at all. All you have to do is give your hand to the preacher and your heart to the Lord and it’s a done deal. After that, just go to church from time to time and the rest doesn’t matter very much.
But most of us know intuitively that there is something wrong with that picture—it just doesn’t feel right. Surely there has got to be more to it than that. Surely, after we’re saved, we can’t just go back and live our live just as we’ve always lived it. On the other hand, there are those who make religion nearly impossible. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were a case in point. They had a terribly long list of things you had to do, things you couldn’t do. In fact, they had taken a day—the Sabbath day—that God had intended to be liberating and turned it into a burden. Matthew connects one of Jesus’ great promises to a conflict on just this point. It also helps us with this question of religion being hard or easy.
Come unto me, all you that labor 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 you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.