Taking on Jesus’ Yoke – Part 2
This is a continuation from Part 1, where we learned the typical teaching regarding Matthew 11:28-30.
The Relation of Jesus and His Yoke
Earlier, I questioned whether Jesus would be wearing a yoke. I find it difficult to believe that Jesus saw himself as yoked in any way. He is the Son of God who has come down from Heaven to be Lord, Savior and King. Do any of those titles sound like someone who is yoked in anyway?
Remembering these titles of Jesus, it would make more sense that the Son of God, the Lord of all, the Savior of the world and the King of Kings would actually OWN the yoke, not wear it. Let’s review Jesus’ offer:
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me
What if Jesus meant that he has a yoke because he is the farmer of his parable? Then Jesus would be in charge of the farm and all the cattle. He would be directing the plow in a straight path. He would clear the land of the stones and obstacles.
Looking back to the original illustration, Jesus is no longer the biggest, strongest cattle, taking the burden on his own shoulders. He is the farmer in charge of the farm, directing the cattle and growing what he will, where he wills. His farm, His plow, His yoke.
He does not mean to grace us with the opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Him under a yoke he is pulling. He is offering us the pleasure of working with him. We lose our own burdensome yoke and take His instead. Now, He guides and directs us while we do our work, but the work becomes easy.
This is because the plow we were previously pulling was our own and it was poorly constructed, heavy and tedious. Jesus’ plow is well made for the precise work that needs to be done and therefore works perfectly and easily without struggles.
In reality, the plow we were pulling was the laws and righteousness of the Pharisees. Jesus had already taught that we would never enter into the kingdom unless our righteousness surpassed that of the Pharisees. Here, He gives us a new way. We no longer need to live the life of a Pharisee, with the oppressive laws they carried around. We can now live the life of freedom under the guidance of Jesus.
Remembering what it means to be “Yoked”
We return here to the definition of “yoke”. Recall that to be yoked with someone else is to be paired with them. To work together as one. Now we can understand better: The pairing is not me standing beside Jesus under a yoke but me working with Jesus, under His leadership.
The saying goes, “Jesus take the wheel.” Jesus is saying, “I’ve got the plow reigns.” It’s the same concept from different eras. He is guiding the way, taking control but we are working together to accomplish His work.
Jesus is offering to use us to carry out His work. He is offering to guide us in the right way. He is offering to remove the obstacles in our way. This is a much easier way than our way. It is a lighter burden to carry. We would be wise to take Him up on His offer.
What are your thoughts? Does Jesus stand beside us, carrying the yoke on his own shoulders? Does He place His yoke on us and then take the reigns to guide us in the path? What would an easy yoke and light burden look like in light of this? Let me know what you think… God Bless!