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 (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus states that we must take his yoke upon us and learn from him. The imagery of two oxen yoked together to plow a field was an effective teaching analogy for those in Israel hearing his instruction. Everyone understood the harvest benefit from the farmer’s initial work of plowing with two beasts in submission.
It almost seems contradictory, doesn’t it? The device used to control work production is the tool by which Jesus offers rest. Why be yoked if it means being restrained? Our natural tendency is to cast off anything seeking to unjustifiably control us.
That is the beauty of God’s kingdom. Accepting Jesus’ offer of rest through being yoked with him actually brings freedom from sin, the greatest enslaver of mankind! We see the connection between sin and bondage in the admonition of Galatians 5:1- “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” So the decision we make is not whether we will be yoked, but to whom or to what will we be yoked?
Perhaps that is why Jesus qualifies his yoke as easy and his burden as light. We need to know that there is an alternative reality, because the sin of worry fatigues us and the pressures of life weigh us down. Daughter of God, you don’t have to be strongly independent because you were never meant to go it alone. Jesus invites you to come to him and learn from him through the act of taking his yoke upon you. It is through the yoking mechanism that you know rest instead of stress.
Excerpt from You Are More Than You Know: 90-Day Devotional for Women by Renee Beamer. Find it online at Amazon.
Article Written by: Renee Beamer