1. Come to Jesus time is when we realize we need help
2. The Holy Spirit is the ‘yoke of Christ’ that guides believers
A yoke is the ancient wooden frame that used to hold two farm animals together in pulling a plough. The yoke makes sure they pull together and keep in step. In ancient times the farmer would yoke an inexperienced animal to an experienced animal. The inexperienced animal would learn to work together - to serve, with another animal. Jesus is teaching us that we are to learn from following Him (Matthew11.29). We are joined to Jesus - yoked, in our Baptism. We learn how to follow Him by studying the Bible regularly and praying. We are to be like Abraham’s servant in the Genesis reading. The servant is determined to be obedient. He prays for success. He prays for a sign so he will know if the woman he meets is the one God has chosen. The Apostle Paul is also ‘yoked to Jesus’ as he struggles against the temptations of his sinful or selfish human nature. The spiritual yoke of his relationship to Jesus is what holds him firmly on the right path. If he goes to slowly the yoke pulls him forward. If he gets ahead of Jesus, the spiritual yoke of his Baptism pulls him back. In even the simplest details of life the Holy Spirit is there to guide him. Paul refers to the Law - the Hebrew Law, as being like a spiritual yoke or guide that helps him know when he is doing something that is spiritually destructive.
4. The yoke is a light burden that gives us the peace of a servant
Deep inside each of us there is fear. At some level, usually at a level we are not conscious of, we are afraid that God will judge us. This is the natural consequence of our freedom. Freedom is the freedom to make mistakes, to be responsible - and to feel guilty. The alternative is to be a servant, to be a person who does not have complete freedom. While our culture generally thinks of servants as carrying a heavy burden of obedience; there is another side to being a servant. The other side is that since you are not making the decisions, you are not responsible - or guilty, of wrong choices. As long as they have been obedient, servants can sleep at night. They are under the physical - and spiritual protection of their master. This is why Jesus tells us to “take my yoke upon you” (Matthew 11.29). This is the only way in which we can escape from the burden of our own destructive ideas and actions and come under His spiritual protection. Those who do not make this choice to put on the yoke of Christ remain outside Jesus spiritual kingdom. They receive no guidance from the Holy Spirit. They carry the enormous burden of guilt for all the sins they have ever committed. In comparison to this, the burden of Jesus is light. It is an urgent choice if we want to have peace with God.
At some point we all have ‘come to Jesus’ experiences.