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.Matthew 11:29
Jesus said that His yoke is easy and not burdensome [see verse 30 in Matthew chapter 11]. In verse 28 of the same chapter, Jesus speaks to those who are heavy laden. Those that carry a heavy burden, or those that are oppressed. Jesus invites us to take His yoke, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Have you ever been burdened? Maybe you carry the weight of taking care of a family member, or you are under a harsh and authoritarian treatment. Whatever the case may be, it is time to lay down the weight you carry upon Jesus.
What is a yoke? A yoke is an ox bow, a pole or bands that is tied over your shoulders like what you see on oxen that plows the field. Sometimes the task master of the oxen can be harsh with whips flying to make the oxen move across the field. Thus, the wooden pole becomes the weight of the burden you carry. When David was hiding in the cave, he cried out in Psalms 142:4, “no man cared for my soul.” Unfair treatment from others can mean you have no one to turn to for help. David was praying and asking God to bring his soul out of prison. Are you feeling distressed or stuck in a cave like David?
A careful look at our burdens needs to be addressed, but whatever the burden, know that Christ can lift that burden when we begin to learn who He is and know him as a friend rather than just know about him. I googled “what does Christian mean today,” and the site came up with “A Christian is someone whose behavior and heart reflects Jesus Christ.” If our behavior and heart is to reflect Jesus Christ, then we must know what His will is. It is more than just a confession; it is a way of living.
A person may carry a burden that may be given by an individual who is oppressing them to work for them as if that person was a personal slave. I personally went through this situation in my family where I had an extreme number of duties to perform at home. When I got a full-time job at the age of 16, I had to give up my wages to my parents. It became embarrassing when I did not have decent clothing to wear to work such as a skirt, dress, shoes, and even panty hose. A friend at work provided me with shoes, dress, and panty hose. It was not the fact that we were poor, but that greed had entered in the pursuit of wealth. When I prayed and talked to God about it, He told me that He would help me through it. I did not know how it all happened, but a social worker showed up at our home and spoke to my parents about the fact that I needed a certain dollar amount of wages for personal items such as shoes and clothing. My burden was lifted, and I could retain certain percentage of my wages.
I only share this as an example of how a yoke can be placed upon an individual. This is something that the scribes and pharisees did by putting heavy burdens and laying them on men’s shoulders in making demands into an obligation [see Matthew 23:4]. Whatever the demand may be or the obligation it becomes burdensome because it becomes the focal point that tears at the fabric of humanity. It brings strife into a situation rather than repairing the breach. Isaiah the prophet spoke about putting away the yoke that pointed the finger at those who are impoverished.
If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity, and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity.Isaiah 58:9-10
Let us put away the pointing finger and not hide from the mirror of our own flesh/reflection. When we begin to see who Christ is, it is a pivotal point in knowing His genuine love for us on a personal level. This love is felt in our broken spirit. He answers our prayer and healing comes to all who were oppressed. Let us learn the truth and seek the Lord and find how to remove the yoke through prayer and find rest for our weary soul. Let each person voluntary help those who are in need and see the blessings of His love unfold daily in our lives.