To Whom Are You Yoked With?

Jesus said, “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.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus knew that ever since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that humanity has been functioning under a yoke of servitude to Satan. Man has been enslaved to sin. Jesus knew humanity was “weary and heavy-laden” by its consequences and people longed for freedom. This is the context of Jesus invitation to take His yoke.

You may ask what a yoke is. It was a familiar term in biblical times and that is why Jesus uses it in this parable. A “Yoke” in scripture is used metaphorically to illustrate submission. The yoke was fit around the neck of two oxen for the purpose of binding them together that they might pull the plow. The yoke or “harness” was used to ease the work of hauling a load. Metaphorically it meant that a burden of a task was to be shared.

When Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you” (Matthew 11:29), He meant that we are to submit ourselves to Him every day in every way. When someone was described as yoked to someone or something, it was communicating the idea that he or she was in submission to that person or thing. Everyone is yoked to someone or something.

The question is to whom? To whom are you yoked? Spiritually it is always an either/or God or Satan. Some people are yoked to the power of sin and under Satan’s control while others are willingly yoked to Jesus is to serve and obey Him. There are only two possible options of being yoked spiritually.

In Matthew 11 Jesus contrasts religion and Himself as possible options to be yoked to. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The context of this statement is crucial. Jesus had thanked His Father that the “wise and intelligent,” the religious scribes and Pharisees, who had failed to understand the spiritual realities He was sharing were yoked to religious pride. The truth was “hidden” from them.

While those who were simple and trusting and willing to repent and receive by faith Jesus’ yoke, are referred to as “infants” or “babes.” A humble person recognizes their spiritual ignorance and need. Whereas religion places enormous value in education and knowledge, but the truth of the kingdom is often understood by the uneducated and ignorant, who in their simplicity recognize their need.

Jesus said, “No one fully knows You Father, but Me; and no one fully knows Me, but You, Father.” Spiritual truths are only realized as they are revealed to us by God. Revelation is caught not taught. The revelation of the kingdom of Christ is spiritually discerned and appraised.

It is at this point that Jesus gives an invitation to those who are “weary and heavy-laden” by religion. The yoke of religious activity is indeed heavy and laborious. Religious leaders are high-handed and demanding in their “authority.” Religious activity allows for no rest. There is a constant demand for dedication and commitment, to be more involved and active in serving the organization and its leaders. Endless duties, services, and rituals, are indoctrinated; go, go, go and do, do, do; unceasing performance and preservation of the traditions.

The Apostle Peter referred to the “yoke our fathers were not able to bear” (Acts 15:10) in the old covenant religion. Instead, Jesus invites all men to rest from human activity and the performance of religion, in order to receive God’s activity of grace. In the Sabbath rest of the Christian covenant (Heb. 4) we can enjoy God’s activity, recognizing that Christianity is what God does, and not what we do.

Jesus said, “Take MY yoke; learn of ME.” The dynamic presence of Jesus Christ is the essence of Christian activity. Come and receive. Do not settle for the wearisome and burdensome toil and labor of religious performance; accept instead the grace of God’s activity in Jesus Christ, resting in His sufficiency. Experiencing “Life As God Intended.”

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

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