One of my all-time favorite jokes goes this way, “What did one egg say to the other egg?” Give up? “Yolk’s on you?” This joke actually has nothing to do with this post. However, let me attempt to draw a parallel between this joke and my message. Jesus encouraged His followers to take His yoke because it was light and easy. This is contrary to what the other religious leaders were requiring of their followers.
A yoke during the time of Jesus had a dual meaning. One idea of a yoke had to do with the wooden bar placed around the neck of two oxen plowing in the field. The second understanding was that of a doctrine or teaching. The teaching of the religious leaders during Jesus’ time placed a heavy burden upon their disciples, one that they could not carry for the life of them. What they taught as requirements for righteousness put an undue amount of pressure and strain on the necks and backs of those around them. Jesus came and eased the burden of His followers, releasing them for the hefty burden of the religious elite of the day.
In much the same way, you and I have been given a burden by the world, our government, our peers, society, family, media, etc. a yoke that we cannot carry. These yokes or teachings say to us, get all that you can and look out for self. The yoke that says, real men have multiple wives and so little to no respect for women. These yokes say, increase your riches at the expense of the impoverished and the poor. These yokes say, you are the superior authority of your life. They say, you are a perfect person born broken so what does it matter if you’re gay, or if you abort your child because you got too drunk the night before and slept with a stranger, or that it’s ok to have a unhelathy and inappropriate relationship with kids…you were born that way and nothing is wrong with that. This is a yoke of enslavement to destructive practices to name a few.
Jesus says take my yoke. The yoke of liberty, of abundant life, of forgiveness, of love. The yoke of Jesus is contrary to the world and government and self. His yoke binds us to empathy, compassion, love, concern for our neighbor and righteousness. Jesus’ yoke teaches us the way of salvation. Salvation from the oppression of government, worldliness, selfishness, and sin.
It is on us to learn from Him and apply the information if we want to experience the easy of our burden. The yoke is on you!