Being Yoked to Jesus


“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)


In ancient times, beasts of burden were commonly paired together in groups of two. A single harness, known as a yoke, would bind the animals together. If one of the beasts died, a new ox would be strapped into the harness; initiating a training period. As the mature animal plowed correctly, the new ox was steadied and prevented from wandering off or disobeying the plowman’s commands. The fresh recruit needn’t focus on every rule, expected behavior, or custom. Instead, his labor was simplified; he only needed to walk in unison with the ox beside him. Obviously In this illustration, Jesus represents the ox, and those who receive the gospel are yoked to Him. He carries the heavy weight of our sins; transforming our hearts and minds. We then follow the rules and regulations of the bible, not because they can lead us to God, but instead, because we are moving in fellowship with Jesus. [NOTE: There are still acts of repentance that must occur upon receiving salvation.]

The original Mosaic law outlined in the Old Testament consisted of 613 laws; a hefty sum of regulations. And yet over time, more rules were added through what is known as the Mishnah; the writings of the Rabbis who expounded upon the Mosaic law. They created hundreds of new ordinances; many of which were not explicitly outlined in scripture. When Jesus arrived, He discovered that most of the common men and women struggled beneath the burden of these man-made laws. In turn, He struck these rules down; thus restoring the law to its original intent. [Note: Jesus also reduced the hundreds of laws into only two requirements; which if followed will result in complete adherence to God’s will. See Mathew 22: 37 – 40.]

Jesus came to lighten our burdens and to restore mankind to a right relationship with God. Legalism, which places an emphasis on rigid expressions of outward adherence, misses the mark. Instead, we can adhere to the Spirit and the letter of the law by focusing on our relationship with Jesus. When we are yoked to our Savior, we are transformed into His image and likeness. We are then capable of adhering to God’s laws.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and ask that we be yoked to Your Son, Jesus Christ. May we not fall victim to outward legalism, but instead, be born again; adhering to your ordinances because Your Holy Spirit dwells within us. May we follow You with our whole hearts, and commit our entire lives to the furtherance of Your Gospel. We love you Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

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