Yoked With Jesus
KEY PASSAGE: Matthew 11:28-30
SUPPORTING SCRIPTURES: Mark 10:46 | John 4:5-6 | John 14:27 | Hebrews 13:5
We’re all familiar with the junk mail that fills our mailboxes yet contains nothing worth reading.
In contrast, every time we open the Bible we receive a message of great value because we’re listening to the voice of God. Unlike junk mail, which isn’t delivered on holidays, God’s Word is always available if we’ll pick it up and read it. And one of the messages we hear is an invitation to come to Jesus, take His yoke, and learn from Him.
Every word of Scripture is true, and there is nothing in the Bible that we should throw out or disregard.
Furthermore, it contains answers to our questions and is applicable to the situations and problems we face in life. Knowing all this, we should desire to read it every day in order to hear from the Lord. And this is exactly what Jesus invites us to do.
“Come to Me”
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus offers a most appealing invitation saying, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
There are all sorts of yokes in this world that falsely promise to relieve the burdens of life, but they only alleviate our problems temporarily at best, and may actually add to our load. Jesus wants us to abandon all the other yokes we may have tried and come to Him to receive His yoke, which is unlike any other.
Burdens are the daily pressures of life that are weighing us down. We’re yoked to them if we wake up with our burdens, carry them all day long, and take them to bed with us at night. As a result, we feel weary, discouraged, hopeless, and helpless because there seems to be no way of escape, and we’re exhausted.
In Jesus’ day, people were very familiar with a yoke. It was a heavy bar placed over the neck of two animals to enable them to pull a wagon or plow. Two oxen together under a yoke could pull a greater weight with less effort and work longer than a single animal because the weight of the burden was shared.
“Take My Yoke”
Jesus’ yoke is about a relationship with Him. When we come to Him for salvation and receive Him as Savior and Lord, we are united with Him. He isn’t promising freedom from everything that weighs us down, but His presence and power enable us to go through all these afflictions. They won’t keep us awake at night or crush us with anxiety and fear because there is peace and rest under Jesus’ yoke.
Peace is a rare commodity. Most people are troubled about various things in their lives, and many try to find relief in drugs, alcohol, sex, or relationships. But these things never truly satisfy. God made us to find our fulfillment in Him. Therefore, all the counterfeits we try will fail.
To come under Christ’s yoke is to be joined with Him and become dependent upon Him. Therefore, we must abandon our pride and self-reliance. As we submit ourselves to Jesus and His leadership, He will transform us not just temporarily but eternally. We were made to live under Christ’s yoke because He is our life. As we submit to Him, He takes our load, assures us of His strong presence, gives us peaceful rest, and shows us the way to go.
“Learn from Me”
Included in taking Christ’s yoke is learning the truth about Him. He describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart,” and His character is seen in how He interacted with the needy people who constantly surrounded Him. When Bartimaeus cried out for mercy, Jesus restored his sight (Mark 10:46). Christ understands our weaknesses because He knows what it’s like to be weary and exhausted John 4:5-6). He experienced the joy of having good friends like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but He also knew what it was like to have enemies. Yet He never had to bear the burdens alone because the Father was always with Him.
Now Jesus offers us His yoke, assuring us that it is easy, and His burden is light. We never have to feel alone or defeated because He’s always with us, and His strength makes the burden lighter, since He bears the weight for us. Whatever touches us also touches Christ because we are spiritually yoked together with Him.
Jesus calls us to learn who He is and how He operates in people’s lives. Knowing Christ enables us to live in our circumstances, no matter how difficult, with a restful spirit. The Christian life is not based on what we can do in our own strength but on what Christ does in us. If we will learn from Him and abide under His truth, He will transform our lives.
“Find rest for your souls”
Coming to Jesus, taking His yoke, and learning from Him can all be summed up in one word—trust. Just as we trust Christ for our salvation, so we entrust Him with our burdens and rely on His teaching. Jesus assures us that we will find rest for our souls that will dispel uncertainty, fears, anxieties, and despair. When we are surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and are walking in fellowship with Him, we won’t face any situation alone because He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
Christ’s yoke binds us together with Him and gives us rest. Therefore, we should wake up every morning remembering our spiritual union with Him. He forgives our sins, answers our prayers, provides for our needs, and bears our burdens. There is nothing more we need because we are yoked with our omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, all-loving God who went to the cross for us.
A life yoked with Christ is one fully surrendered and obedient to Him. As we walk with Him, He puts limits on our trials and heartaches; enables us to go through them with joy, peace, and confidence in Him; and governs, guides, and guards our lives.
How do we take Jesus’ yoke?
First, we must acknowledge that we need Christ. Then we surrender our lives to Him and walk obediently with Him, trusting Him to guide us. Because we are linked to Him by faith, we can trust Him for everything at all times. He will be faithful to carry us through troubling situations and bear our burdens.
- What burdens are you bearing today? How are they adversely affecting your life?
- What benefits would be yours if you came to Christ, took His yoke, and learned from Him? What does Jesus require of you if you take His yoke? Are you willing to let Him lead?