Return to your rest, O my soul. The Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:7
The next time you’re part of a group, introduce the topic of ‘the yoke of an oxen’ and there probably won’t be much interest, even among Christians. However, the topic is unavoidable because we’re all yoked to someone. Satan yokes us to him whether we want it or not. “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6 Jesus, if we’re willing, breaks the yoke of our oppression and invites us to take on His yoke instead.
He said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Who wants to be in a yoke? That’s the opposite of freedom. Jesus’ promise that this way of living is good for me makes me skeptical. Once I’m freed from the enemy’s cords, can’t I just do my own thing?
Let’s consider the context of Jesus’ words. Two oxen are chosen to share a yoke. The first is an older seasoned ox. He is trained and rugged from years of routine. The second is a new young ox. He has potential but is inexperienced. By sharing the same yoke with a seasoned workhorse, the mature trains the young.
Not only that, but the experienced one pulls harder to bear the majority of the load. Since the older one leads, the younger ox does not have to wonder what to do. He leans on his mentor and copies everything his he does.
Sounds like discipleship, doesn’t it? Jesus invites me to ‘learn of Him’ which is another way of saying ‘be my disciple.’ There’s rest in not having to figure life out on my own. There’s security as I follow His lead.
Jesus also reveals that His yoke is easy. The word ‘easy’ doesn’t mean ‘simple’, but ‘good’. If I’m yoked to Jesus, there’s rest in being yoked to someone good, loving, and patient.
The paraphrase? “Get in the yoke with me. Let me disciple You. I’ll bear the weight of your burden. My yoke is good and you will find rest and companionship in our labor together.”
You were yoked to Your Father and that’s how You survived. Your life was the slow dance of the trinity. I want that. Amen