There are several scriptures that summon us to live “lighter,” such as Hebrews 12:1 that cautions us to strip off every weight that slows us down or we will not be able to run with endurance the race God has set before us. There are other similar themes that direct our hearts to not worry or fear (see Matthew 6:25, Isaiah 41:10), but the one I delight in the most is:
"Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”" (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
If you were to take a spiritual leader’s “yoke,” especially in the days of Jesus, you would be agreeing and adhering to that Rabbi’s interpretation and application of the holy scriptures. You would be completely committed to imitate their ministry model and carry the weight and demand of their ways. So in essence, Jesus invited all who carried heavy burdens to simply unload, because living from His view of the world was light and easy compared to any other way.
We fall into a perfect peace and rest for our souls when we live by the yoke of the Kingdom. Anything less than a Christ-centered faith, love, and grace can add unnecessary weight to our life. The Apostle John, who had surrendered his entire life devoted to the yoke of Jesus, assures us in this passage that: “his commands don’t weigh us down as heavy burdens” (1 John 5:3 TPT). The commands of Jesus are not burdensome, but the way we interpret His commands can be. If we filter each thing that the Lord is asking of us through our brokenness, our greatest worries, or our shame-filled experiences, then the commands become an added stress to our life. The Lord’s commands are there to empower us, not bury us. They just need to be translated through the right lens, or else light and easy will become heavy and hard.