In Matthew chapter 11 Jesus was speaking to people who were used to being under a heavy hand of authority from the Roman Empire as well as the Jewish religious community. To these people Jesus was asking that they become submissive to His authority over them. There was a huge difference in the outcome of these two submissions; one was demanded, while the other was an invitation. One brought with it a sense of bondage and oppression while what Jesus offered was a place of rest and care.
Look what He said in verses 28-30 of chapter 11: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
Jesus used a farming illustration to prove His point. Farmers would put what was called a yoke, a wooden crosspiece, over the necks of two animals which was attached to a plow or cart that they would pull. Most of the time, for these animals this yoke became a burden and could easily make the animals worn down by the end of the day. This yoke put these animals under the authority of the one behind the plow or in the cart. Jesus is saying, “let me be the one who you submit to, but the difference is that instead of being worn down with the cares of this life I will give you peace”.
We do have a choice in the world we live in; we can live under the burden of what sin brings or we can choose to follow Jesus and live a life of peace.