For My Yoke Is Easy And My Burden Is Light

Posted: July 9, 2013 in Christianity

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

This portion of scripture is one of the staples of our Christian walk.  We quote it when describing marriages, friendships, business dealings, etc…  But there is a deeper meaning to this scripture than I had been taught.  Let’s look at this from a Jewish perspective. 

During Jesus’ ministry here on earth, a yoke was a Rabbi’s way of interpreting the Torah.  The way to find out what a Rabbi’s yoke was, was to ask hm what he thought was the most important commandment.

What was Jesus’ yoke?  Let’s see what His answer was when He was asked what the most important commandment was:

Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40

So what is Jesus’ yoke? Love God/ Love your neighbor.  If that’s the yoke, then what’s the burden we’re pulling along with us? The burden is keeping the word of God.

The yoke is used to make the burden lighter.  If the yoke is to love God and to love our neighbor, then love compels us to keep the word of God, making the burden of keeping God’s word easier, lighter, doesn’t it? 

Being unequally yoked is being unable to keep up with the other person you’re yoked to because of size or ability or because of walking in opposing directions.  If the yoke you’ve taken up causes you to walk beside someone other than Jesus, then you are automatically unequally yoked.

We can apply the yoke to different areas of our lives, like marriage, relationships, etc… but I believe the crux of this scripture is all about Jesus!  If we’re not yoked with Him then who or what are we yoked to?  Religion?  Self?  Poverty?  Stress?  Anger?  

We need to be yoked to Jesus.  He’ll never take us in a direction we shouldn’t be going in or move faster than we can bear.


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