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Taking on Jesus’ Yoke – Part 1

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

We often hear about Jesus’ yoke being easy. We are taught that this is because Jesus has taken our burdens upon himself, making it easy for us. Is this true?

The illustration given is a wooden beam that sits across the shoulders of two cattle. This wooden piece is connected to a plow. The cattle pull the plow behind them, digging up the dirt and guided by the farmer. The plow breaks up the hard ground as the cattle trudge across the land. The teaching is that Jesus takes one half of the yoke while we are under the other, making this work easier for us.

We are taught that life is difficult. There are many problems, like hard dirt, through which we have to plow. There are many obstacles, like large rocks, that get in the way. The work of draught cattle (beasts of burdens) is a hard life, a difficult life and a heavy burden.

However, we don’t have to live the life of a draught cattle. We can have an easier life by taking on Jesus’ yoke. We don’t have to do it ourselves. Jesus is offering to carry the yoke himself. The burden is now light. The work is now easy. Jesus has taken it upon himself.

Is this what Jesus was really saying? Did Jesus really compare himself to a cattle?

Does Jesus really wear a yoke?

Defining “Yoke”

The word “yoke” is the translation of the Greek word “zygos”. HELPS Word studies defines this as,

“properly, a yoke; a wooden bar placed over the neck of a pair of animals so they can pull together; (figuratively) what unites (joins) two people to move (work) together as one” [italics in the original].

We can see that our suspect teachings use the first half of the definition. It speaks specifically of the yoke upon the cattle. I’m pointing this out because I want you to pay attention to the second half of the definition:

(figuratively) what unites (joins) two people to move (work) together as one

Keep this in mind as we continue our discussion in Part 2.

Your Turn:

What do you think? Have you heard a different lesson on taking on Jesus’ yoke? Share below in the comments section. God Bless!