How are you? I’m well.
I learned that a yoke in the Bible is many times referred to partnership and figuratively to marriage relationship. We’ve heard and read the verse on the yoke Jesus said:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28~30)
It is one of the popular verses that even unbelievers would know. Yet I didn’t really make sense of it. Actually, I didn’t even know what the yoke looks like until I searched it in google image in my Singapore time. A couple of years back, when I listened to the late Pastor Neville Johnson’s teaching, I got to understand what it would be like to have an easy and light yoke. Pastor Neville shared his experience where he visited a rural area in Indonesia. In a farm, the farmers put a yoke on the shoulders of a mature and older ox and a young ox, in order to train the young ox. As the weight of the yoke is carried by the mature ox, the young ox doesn’t carry the weight. He simply follows where the mature ox leads. He cannot rest, unless the mature ox does. He cannot go to the right, if the mature ox goes to the left. He simply learns to follow the mature ox.
I recently searched the online commentary, EnduringWord by Pastor David Guzik, in order to write on this. Interestingly enough, I found out he also wrote about the training of a new animal on carrying a yoke:
My yoke is easy and My burden is light: Jesus summarized this wonderful call with this assurance. The yoke is easy and the burden is light because He bears it with us. Borne alone, it might be unbearable; but with Jesus it can be easy and light.
Since I listened to Pastor Neville’s teaching on the yoke, I thought of some occasions in the past. When I worked for the company in Seoul, I used to give my mom a drive for grocery shopping on the weekend. And I think the occasions were before I bought a car and perhaps when I was a university student. I often went to grocery shopping with mom and we would walk from the grocery store back home. When we bought too many heavy stuffs, we took a taxi. But most of the time we would walk back home. When we had one big plastic bag, I held one strap of the bag and my mom held another strap. Yet she was being stubborn and tried to carry the bag on her own, not to give me any burden. So, when we walked home, holding each strap of the bag, she moved her hand upward to carry the weight of the bag alone. Then, I felt it took the weight off my hand and I felt light. So, on the way back home, we had kind of a tug of war, as I wanted to share the burden with her. But she never wanted to give me any burden, and spoiled me. Then, when I went to grocery shopping with my elder sister, it was totally different. She is shorter and weaker than I am. When we held straps of a bag, my arm and hand with a bag strap held were positioned higher than hers. And I felt I carried all the weight of the bag so that I complained to her.
So, Jesus said to us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” If we truly trust and follow Him, we can be under His yoke. Then, all the weight is carried by Him. So His yoke is easy and light. But, can we trust Him wholeheartedly? Just like the young ox, we go eastward, if He goes to the east. We cannot go otherwise. But, if we choose to take His yoke and follow Him, we don’t carry the weight, but He does. I heard Pastor Joe Sweet say, “Your will be done! It’s the most selfish prayer!” I smiled. If we believe He is faithful and His will for us is always the best, truly we are asking the best to be done to our lives. I don’t want the second best. Don’t you? Once we choose to trust Him and submit ourselves to Him, we do not worry. Even when it seems to go against the grain or we don’t understand where He is leading to, we trust our faithful Lord. He is the One who carries the burden. In partnering with Him, we learn His gentleness and meekness and we will become more like Him.
Friend, it’s my prayer that we totally trust Him and answer His invitation, “Come to Me.”
Have a bliss!
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,