Jesus Wants to Be Your Yoke Fellow

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Everybody has a yoke mate. This passage makes it clear why it is best to have Jesus as your yoke mate.

Growing up my granddad worked a team of oxen (that shows my age.) The following will include some lessons learned from my experience with him. 

First, what was a yoke such as Jesus spoke of? It was a timber about six feet long with two bows carved out so each could rest on the neck of the oxen. Two oxen were harnessed so together they could share in pulling a weight.

Jesus extends us an invitation to come. The Greek “deute,” is a strong appeal. He earnestly wants to be your yoke mate. The invitation gives reasons why it is a good thing.

Almost hidden in the text is the little word “to,” Greek “pros” is a reference to proximity. Jesus wants to be your intimate yoke fellow.

Does “weary and heavy laden” describe you at times, perhaps even now? 

Weary is the effect. Heavy laden gives the cause. Are you carrying a burden, better yet, are you pulling a burdensome load?

Jesus as a yoke fellow offers rest. The Greek “anapauo,” translated rest means to refresh, to rest up. Sound good?

If you take Him as your yoke fellow you will learn His yoke is easy. The Greek “chrestos,” translated easy means manageable, or even serviceable. In other words, it is designed and suitable for you.

It is also light. “Light” is elaphros, meaning it is not burdensome, or overbearing.

You are going to have a burden in life, everyone does. Jesus’ offer is for a well-fitted one enabling you to be refreshed and rested up while carrying it. His offer is to share it with you.

To take Christ’s yoke means to submit to His person as the one who is gentle and meek, as one who is gentle and caring and concerned for you. It means to put yourself under His leading, to join yourself together with Him, but the difference is, He is the yoke mate and this is how He can give rest.

As a child observing my grandad working his oxen, I learned a lesson I can now, years later apply. In training a young oxen to later join the work he would on occasion yoke the young oxen with an older, stronger, more mature oxen. At first they being newly yoked the smaller, younger oxen pulled very little of the load. As it matured with its yoke partner, it was later easier to share the load with its yoke mate with ease.

The lesson of this passage is Jesus doesn’t want you to go through unequally yoked carrying a burdensome load. He wants to share it with you, preventing the load from being burdensome. Thus, He gives you rest.

Now is a good time to consciously accept Jesus’ offer to become your yoke mate, and have Him share in all your burdens, including the one you might have right now. Ask for His help in dealing with your heavy burden.