Come to me, all of you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Many of us try to plow through life all by ourselves. As we plow by making our way in the world, providing for our families, and finding meaningful work, we can become burdened. Sometimes it’s hard to keep on plowing. Sometimes it’s hard to see where and why we are plowing. Sometimes it’s hard to know if our plowing makes any difference.
In today’s scripture, Jesus is inviting us to get yoked to Him. If we’re yoked to Jesus, we won’t be plowing alone. If we’re yoked to Him, Jesus will lead us into plowing the right things in the right way.
In Jesus’ day, a younger or weaker ox would be yoked to a more experienced or stronger ox. The younger ox would be, in effect, an “apprentice” of the older ox; the weaker ox would be, in effect, a “disciple” of the stronger ox.
When we come under Jesus’ yoke, we’re putting ourselves in an apprenticeship-discipleship position. Our lead ox, Jesus, will show us how and where to plow. By plowing next to our lead ox, we’ll also have His constant company and encouragement.
If we plow alone in this life, we’ll be crushed. If we get yoked to anyone or anything else, we’ll get lost and find ourselves plowing in fields that don’t bring much harvest.
If we’re feeling heavily burdened by life, work, or commitments, we may be trying to plow all alone. If so, I encourage us to get yoked to Jesus. When He says that His yoke is “easy,” Jesus is saying that He has a yoke slot shaped just for us that will be easy to fit into.
Being yoked to Jesus doesn’t mean a free ride. He still wants us to pull and plow. But now, our pulling and plowing will be with Him. That makes all the difference. When we’re flagging, we can rest in His love. When we’re getting lost, we can lean into Him, who is our true home. When we have fallen down, we can trust that He will pick us up and never let us go.
- What are your burdens? If they’re weighing you down, are you willing to get yourself under the yoke of Jesus so that He can help you carry them?
- As you have “plowed” through your life, have you ever become lost? If so, how did Jesus find you? Have you ever plowed yourself into a breakdown? If so, how did Jesus pick you up?
- Being yoked to Jesus means that He’s with us, and we’re with Him in everything we do. How do you feel about being constantly connected to Jesus?