How is meditating and memorizing this passage from the gospel of Matthew going? I am so appreciative of those who have encouraged us with what they have gleaned from the passage so far; praying that others of you are deepening your faith and trust in our great triune God!
This week let’s take a look at the beginning of Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you…”
Not growing up a farm girl (although I have longed for that focused lifestyle many times!) I needed to get a good picture in my mind of what a yoke is.
An interesting thing to know: when a young ox is being trained to wear the yoke and pull its weight, it is yoked with a stronger ox that actually carries the burden while the young one is learning to simply wear the yoke.
The yoke was a very common, visible word picture for those listening to Jesus. Not only was it common but it also held religious significance to those in first century Palestine.
* A yoke was a symbol of a Master-Servant relationship
* A yoke was referenced within the early teaching of the Mosaic Law. There are two yokes: the Yoke of the Kingdom of God, and the Yoke of the Commandments (Law).
How can this background information influence our understanding of what Jesus is talking about? We have to dig a little deeper…
From a rabbinical teaching about the Yoke of the Kingdom of God:
If we believe all *this to be true, then the opportunity to show our allegiance to the will of God— accepting the yoke of God’s kingdom—may be understood as a gracious gift.
If we accept the mitzvah (command) of making this God our God, not just symbolically or rhetorically, then we must also accept the rule of this Sovereign.
However, to be in this harness, to take upon ourselves this yoke, is not to be enslaved, but to be enabled, given the opportunity to make all life flourish.
*(all this- is referring to the belief in God as He reveals Himself in Scripture)
From Matthew Henry’s Commentary regarding taking on Jesus’ yoke:
It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness.
So we are back to Jesus’ telling us to “take My yoke upon you…”Am I willing to be in a harness with Jesus? To walk with Him at His pace, doing the things He has in mind for the day? What does this cost me? What do I gain? Click To Tweet