And then I heard God say to me, “You don’t need to take on the weight of the world, because I already did that.”
The verse “Take my yoke upon you….for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29a,30) used to confuse me. A yoke is a heavy piece of wood used for oxen, mules or donkeys to pull a plow. How could that be easy and light? Why would I choose to put a yoke on me?
But often times, a yoke is made for two animals. In this case, the burden is shared by the two. It also prevents the animals from straying or going their own way. Jesus isn’t placing a burden on our shoulders with his yoke, he is offering to take part of our burden. When we take on Jesus’ yoke, we choose to follow alongside where he goes, doing the things he does.
Jesus calls us to serve other people, to help alleviate other people’s pain. But he is not asking us to take all of that onto ourselves. He already did that.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 NIV
Christine is the Lead Pastor at ARK United Methodist Church, a church replant in North Sioux City, SD. She is also a Ministry Coach with MOPS Int’l, wife to Matthew, a foster and bio mom to 6 kids, and an aspiring chicken homesteader leaning on the grace and hope of God amidst life’s messes. You can connect with her on Instagram @cececappetta