In Matt. 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
When I think of a “yoke”, my mind goes back in time to the ox. William Barclay writes, “In Palestine ox-yokes were made of wood; the ox was brought, and the measurements were taken. The yoke was then roughed out, and the ox was brought back to have the yoke tried on. The yoke was carefully adjusted….so not to gall the neck of the patient beast.”
There is a legend (may or may not be true) that Jesus made the best ox-yokes in all Galilee. Men would come from all over to buy the best. Barclay says that in that day shops would have signs over their doors.
He points out that the Greek word for “yoke” can mean “well-fitting”. It has been suggested that the sign over the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth may have been: “My yokes fit well”.
When we take the yoke of Christ upon us, it is not meant to gall us, but to guide us in life. Your yoke is tailored to fit you! Jesus once said “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly”.
This beautiful invitation of Christ also says “My burden is light”. There is an old saying “My burden has become my song”. There is a song that talks about an older, bigger brother who is carrying his younger brother. He is asked if his load is heavy. He answers “No, he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”. The “burden” of Christ is always light because He is our elder Brother!