[Jesus said] “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.”
Yoked Together With Jesus
Jesus’ words remind us that once we were yoked to eternal death, bearing the full load of our sin. But Jesus shattered that burdensome yoke; he lifted and pulled away from us the entire burden of sin’s guilt, so that by faith in him, we have rest for our souls.
Now Jesus says that he has given us another yoke, an easier and lighter one. He is keeping with the illustration of a yoke that joined two animals to pull a load together. Often the two draft animals did not have the same strength. One was usually stronger than the other. A piece of equipment called an evener worked along with the yoke to balance the load. The evener could be adjusted so that the stronger animal bore the heavier portion of the load.
Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” The yoke that Jesus asks us to take is life as his follower. As we strive to live according to God’s will in glad response to his love for us, we may strain under burdens of suffering and have to push against the yoke of problems. But we are not alone. By faith, we are linked together with Jesus. Being yoked together with him means that when this life becomes weighed down with burdens, Jesus is pulling alongside us. In fact, he pulls most of the weight for us. We are not aware of how much of the load he is carrying. Only if he were to slack off—which he promises never to do—would we discover how utterly dependent we are on his strength.
Yoked together with Jesus, we pull only the share of life’s burdens for which he has given us strength. When the going gets tough, Christ pulls harder, making the yoke easy and the burden light for us.
Jesus, when I am weighed down by the concerns and difficulties of my life remind me that you are walking right alongside of me. Amen.