April 4th, 2017
Growing up the son of a carpenter, Jesus would have been familiar with making and using yokes. Yokes are those bow-shaped wooden beams typically used to harness oxen for plowing, pulling heavy loads, and turning millstones to grind grain. The yoke had to be made smooth and was designed to fit the animal snugly. This avoided injury to these valuable animals while they worked, often for hours on end.
Young steers begin training to the yoke early. This requires making successively larger yokes as the animals grow. During their training, oxen are placed in a yoke and led. The trainer repeats commands until the ox responds properly.
Jesus invites us into His yoke. This is not a yoke of bondage and burden, for His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light” (v. 30). His yoke is intended to train us in His ways; which are “gentle and humble in heart.” His yoke is the way to “find rest” for our souls. When we accept Christ’s invitation we discover life’s truest meaning and greatest joy.
Author: Duane Brush