Matthew 11:28–30—Is Jesus’ yoke easy or hard?

Problem: Jesus said here, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” However, Hebrews declares that “whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6). Which is it—easy or hard?

Solution: These verses are referring to different aspects of the Christian life. The life of a believer is “easy” in that it brings “rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29), but it is hard on the “flesh,” which often needs the disciplining hand of God to keep it in line. Salvation brings “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1), but it also brings conflict with the world (1 John 2:15–17; Gal. 5:17). The Apostle Paul himself experienced God’s grace in his life, but he also had a thorn in his flesh (2 Cor. 12:7–9).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.