Advice From a Fourth Century Bishop
St. Matthew 11: 25 — 30 is a passage of awesome splendour, and really
quite unique in all of Sacred Scripture. We present part of a great sermon
by St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople.
Next, having brought them by His words to an earnest desire, and having signified His unspeakable power, He after that invites them, saying, Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Not this or that person, but all that are in anxiety, in sorrows, in sins. Come, not that I may call you to account, but that I may do away your sins; come, not that I want your honour, but that I want your salvation. For I, says He, will give you rest. He said not, ‘I will save you,’ only; but what was much more, ‘I will place you in all security.’
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Thus, ‘be not afraid,’ says He, ‘hearing of a yoke, for it is easy: fear not, because I said, ‘a burden,’ for it is light. And how said He before, The gate is narrow and the way strait (Mt 7: 13)? Whilst you are careless, whilst you are supine; whereas, if you duly perform His Words #, the burden will be light; wherefore also he has now called it so.
But how are they duly performed? If you become lowly, and meek, and gentle. For this virtue is the mother of all strictness of life. Wherefore also, when beginning those divine laws, with this He began (Mt. 5: 3). And here again He does the very same, and exceeding great is the reward He appoints. (St John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of St Matthew, xxxviii)
# His words — this is what we call His Torah, His Commandments.