Date: January 16, 2010
Tired? Be Yoked with Jesus
Scripture Readings: Gen 32:13-34:31, Matt 11:7-30, Psalm 14:1-7, Proverbs 3:19-20
S – Scripture: Matt 11:28-30 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.”
O – Observation:
Jesus said he would give, ‘rest for the weary.’ What is weary? What is a yoke? A ‘Yoke’ means a bar of wood, constructed to unite two animals, enabling them to work the fields. http://bibleseo.com/christian-life/yoke-bible-definition-word-study/
In the various commentaries and bible dictionaries I’ve searched – figuratively, “Yoke” is a symbol of submission (see link). In these verses, Jesus is saying to take “his” yoke. If we unite with him, he will teach us. Can you imagine having a ‘yoke’ connecting yourself and Jesus, plowing fields, drawing loads, going through your daily life. As he is the knowledgeable one, the other person (like the two united animals) who helps bear our burdens. Jesus is so kind to say that his ‘yoke’ is easy, because he will help and not allow the ‘yoke’s bar’ to chaff on us, because he is right along side of us. We don’t need to carry burdens (loads) of stress, work, oppression, bondage – we can cast our cares to Jesus. We can be freed from this. I Peter 5:7 ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’
A – Application:
I have read this scripture countless times, over the years, yet I am often amazed that as I go before the Lord in my quiet time, that new wisdom is revealed. I knew what a yoke was, I had heard this passage taught by many teachers, yet today it’s the Holy Spirit teaching again, that Jesus is with me. That I can be linked up with Jesus and I don’t have to or need to, carry any burden on my own. Too often I say, “I can’t do it, it’s too much, I’m so overwhelmed.” Yet the bible clearly states I don’t need to carry burdens alone.
Today’s devotion for me is as if Jesus is telling me, “Fool! How many times do I have to tell you, stop doing things on your own? That’s why you’re tired, overwhelmed, depressed, and moody! Snap out of it!” Well, that’s how the Spirit of God has to speak to my spirit sometimes, so that I listen, I’m a little thick skulled at times. Always thinking and thinking and thinking – how to do this, that, and whatever, yet I need to go to Jesus first. Hey, if we’re yoked together, he’s not far. And since the Word of God says, in Jesus words himself, “Come to me.. I will give you rest… take my yoke… learn from me… you will find rest for your souls… my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
These verses also remind me of: II Corin 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? – Is this true for marriage, friendships, work? You can look into that. I believe definitely for marriage. I believe that those we spend the most time with, have an influence on our Worldview. It’s a challenge to spend large amounts of time with people who don’t have the same biblical foundation as yourself. Think about it this way, do the people you spend time with challenge you ‘towards’ God or away from him? Most of us will need to work in the secular arena. Most of our children will need to attend public schools, vs Christian or Home School. However, we do have a choice with our thoughts and actions in our “down” time. After work, we don’t need to get a drink with the gang. After school and during breaks – do we have gossip talks, and/or do things that are questionable in God’s eyes? Seek God Mt 6:33
P – Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for being with me every step of the way. Even in times when I think I am alone, there you are, right next to me, yoked along side – saying you’re trying to guide and I’m pulling in another direction. Thank you for your patience, your forgiveness, your love and understanding. Help me to know and do your will, so that I’m not pulling in the wrong direction as I stay ‘yoked’ along with you. Amen.
Here’s an excerpt from the Definition of Yoke in the Bible:
Yoke in the Bible (NT):
- Mt 11:28-30, Acts 15:10, 2 Cor 6:14, Phil 4:3 etc
- Gal 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”
- Paul in Gal 5:1 and Peter in Acts 15:10 talk about yoke of bondage that the Law brings, the yoke that no one can carry. The requirements of the Law are beyond our capacity!
- Rom 8:2 – “Because through Christ Jesus, the law of spirit has set me free from the law of sin and death.”
- Christ Jesus has set us free from the yoke of bondage through the law. Jesus took upon himself the yoke of Law and fulfilled it. Therefore, through him, we can be set free from the yoke of sin and death.
- Matthew 11:28-30: “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 in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Jesus invites all who are under the yoke of Law or sin and offers the true rest for their souls.
- We may visualize this as Jesus being the master or a farmer and us being yoked with a lighter load. But that is NOT the right picture.
- Farmers used to yoke the young ox with the old experienced ox to train them. The old ox will take the major load and the young one will be walking along and learning from him. If you read this verses in light of this, it makes more sense.
- What a wonderful picture, Jesus is giving to those who are exhausted, weary and burdened from carrying the load by themselves! What a comfort, peace, joy and rest it is to know that Jesus is right with us, walking with us, teaching us and strengthening us side by side!