Devotion: Take His yoke and learn

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The world over, Christians and non-Christians are on a journey of life to attain something or simply to better their lives before the consummation of times.

To some the journey is tiresome, exhausting and draining and thus they have given up hope and resigned to whatever nature and fate avails.

In the adventures of life, people have burdens they are hoping to offload, but unfortunately for others the burdens simply stick and cannot be offloaded.

There are others that think they have studied the Bible enough and know so much of it and are advising God on their supposed course of life.

They no longer listen to wisdom and the voice of reason. They are carrying unbearable loads, but because of bitterness, a wall has been erected and Jesus can no longer minister to them.

If you remain in bondage after accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you have to question your theology and belief system. Jesus simply asks you to take His yoke and learn in Matthew 11:28-30, King James Version, “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.” God always calls us and reaches out His hand to help, but many times we think He will throw in spanners in our work and jeopardise our progress.

Just be honest with yourself and check how many times you have discarded divine strategy because you thought you had a better option, only to return to God when you faced a brickwall. Stop suffering, Jesus has proffered an open invitation to make your life a joy worthy living.

Let us dissect the above Scripture with the help of the Greek version of the Bible. The Greek word translated “yoke” in our Scripture is zugon, which simply means joined, or linked.

In the ancient world, zugon had many meanings and the context in which it was used determined the meaning. It could connote burden, unnecessary trouble, measuring scales, learning and increasing knowledge.

In the context of learning, and increases in knowledge, zugon meant to become linked to a teacher or tutor, for the purpose of education. In the present context, Jesus states the purpose of His yoke as learning. Jesus is calling us to get into His school and learn from Him. Just enrol, it is free.

If you are training a young ox, you yoke it to an experienced mature one. The old ox will take the major load and the young one will be walking along and learning from him. Many have always thought a yoke is punishment, that is not so. Joining Christ is not punishment.

A yoke is also used to join two animals together so that they combine their strength to pull a load that generally would have been too difficult for one animal to pull by itself.

The words heavy laden are from the Greek word phortidzo, which denotes a load or burden that is normal and expected for an individual to carry.

It was a military term in ancient Israel that described the backpack or bag that every soldier was required to carry as part of his career as a soldier.

The weight of these backpacks and bags was determined by the length of the soldier’s journey. If his trip was short, the weight would be less.

If the assignment mandated a longer journey, the weight would be much heavier laden. Jesus was referring to people who had been doing their job for a very long time and their job wasn’t done yet.

Their journey had not been a quick, short and easy one, and much of it was still before them. Knowing how exhausted they were and yet how much further they had to go before completing the trip, Jesus told them, “Come unto me . . . and I will give you rest.”

Becoming yoked to Jesus in your life, ministry, business, marriage and your personal affairs is a premeditated, determined choice, not something that occurs accidentally.

Just as two animals yoked together make a job easier and manageable, the strength of you and Jesus together is unbeatable! That is why the Lord went on to say, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The word easy is the Greek word chrestos, meaning pleasurable, delightful, or comfortable. It is a delight to work with Jesus. Christ’s burden brings illumination (light) and direction.

Don’t you notice in your midst people that are carrying much load outside Christ and are directionless? Christ’s burden has inherent power to direct you. All you need is to follow Him.