The dictionary defines “yoke” as something oppressive or burdensome. Jesus gave this command: “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” (Matthew 11:29).
In the next verse, Jesus explained about His yoke: “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light ” (Matthew 11:30).
This yoke will not be oppressive, but it will require submission to Jesus’ authority. It will become a yoke of pleasantness where we will find rest for our souls. This will be a yoke which commands us to learn from Jesus.
Contrast Jesus’ yoke with the yoke of bondage mentioned in Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
The yoke of bondage is the yoke of sin. Romans 6:16, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
Jesus’ yoke will bring us to righteousness. Jesus, through His words in the Bible, teaches us the path of obedience which leads to righteousness.
This all sounds simple: Just take Jesus’ yoke and become righteous. Is that all we must do? No! We understand we must LEARN the things we must DO, and then we must OBEY and DO those commandments. Just as a newborn baby must grow and learn, so also must a newborn child of God grown and learn. “[A]s newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
Yes, there is a burden with Jesus’ yoke, but this burden is light compared to the burden of sin.
By Dena Ivie
Dena and her husband, Charles serve with the church in Tatum, NM. Charles is the pulpit minister for the congregation of about 20 members from the local area. There are more articles by Dena on the ladies’ page of their website and on her blog.