Are you yoked? – Tuesday, 05 December

Are you yoked? - Tuesday, 05 December
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

Part of coming to Jesus is taking His yoke upon ourselves and learning of Him.
A yoke was a wooden object with two hollowed-out grooves on the bottom portion that rested on the necks of oxen that were used to plough or to draw a wagon. The yoke joined the oxen together to ensure that they went in the same direction for maximum effectiveness in productivity. A young ox was often trained for ploughing or drawing a wagon by yoking it with an experienced ox. The yoke kept the young ox on track and from doing its own thing. This trained the ox to be obedient.

It seems contradictory that Jesus would invite us to experience rest by taking His yoke upon us, but it’s not. Firstly, Jesus ways are far easier and far more rewarding than any other way, including our own. We often think that we know what direction we should go and what’s best for us, but really we don’t. It’s not

in a man to direct His own steps (Jeremiah 10:23) – we were not created to lead our lives independent of God. Being yoked to Jesus means that we’re submitted to Him as Lord and are following His way because we know that it’s what is best for us.

In context, Jesus is comparing His yoke (which He calls easy and light) to the yoke of the law (which is by implication heavy, burdensome and tiresome). Being yoked to the law (or Moses) is where we’re trained to focus on ourselves – our performance, our effort, our goodness and what we deserve. But here’s the thing: you’ll never be good enough and never match up to the standard of perfection in the law. Under the law, perfection is required and there is no tolerance for the slightest imperfection. There is no room for grace in the law. Being yoked to Moses will tire you out.

“But if it is by grace [God’s unmerited favour], it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace [it would not be a gift but a reward for works].”
Romans 11:6 AMP

Likewise, under grace (being yoked to Jesus) there is no room for performance, self-effort, self-justification or self-righteousness. In Christ, we’ve died to self! It’s all Jesus and what He has done for us! All we do is rest in what He has done for us! Being yoked to Jesus is easy because you’re not being treated as you deserve (that’s mercy) and you’re being treated far better than you do deserve (that’s grace).

Being yoked to Jesus means that you trust in Him and choose to follow His way; the grace way. You’re not trying to be blessed, successful or right with God based on what you do or don’t do, but you’re relying fully on the grace and goodness of God, irrespective of whether you deserve it or not.


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