Illustration results for Yoke Is Easy
HIS YOKE IS LIGHT
Mark Guy Pearse preached a sermon on Christ's invitation to the weary and heavy-laden.
I had finished my sermon when a good man came to me and said "I wish I had known what you were going to preach about. I could have told you something."
"Well, my friend," I said, "may I have it still?"
"Do you know why His yoke is light, sir?"
"Well, because the good Lord helps us to carry it, I suppose."
"No, sir," said he, shaking his head, "I think I know better than that. You see, when I was a boy at home, I used to drive the oxen, and the yoke was never made to balance as you said. Father's yokes were always made heavier on one side than the other. Then, you see, we would put a weak bullock in alongside a strong bullock; the light end would come on the weak ox, the heavier end on the stronger one. That's why the yoke is easy and the burden is light, because the Lord's yoke is made after the same pattern, and the heavy end is upon His shoulder."
OXEN AND DONKEYS
The engine of a Fiesta in a Ferrari! Pickles and ice cream. There are certain things that definitely DON’T go together. Aluminium foil and microwaves (Julie rediscovered this recently). Children and cancer. Wouldn’t it change the world if honesty and politics went together?
It was dark when I dressed, and when I arrived at the Church building, we sat around in a small circle of dedicated students learning and reciting Greek declensions with our Pastor. It was about halfway through one of these early morning classes that I noticed my shoes. I was wearing TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF SHOES! Very embarrassing. I wonder if anybody else noticed? Certain things should not be worn together.
Deuteronomy 22:10 (NLT) says "You must not plough with an ox and a donkey harnessed together." The idea here is that there are certain things that are totally INCOMPATIBLE. They were never meant to be placed in the same yoke, never meant to be together in the same equation. Just won’t fit! Won’t make sense! Doesn’t work well!
Abraham wants his son to marry a woman from among his own relatives and insists that he must not marry a Canaanite girl. It almost seems RACIST! Wouldn’t it be better to form an alliance through marriage with the people who are there in the land promised to Abraham? What an easy way of claiming the promised land. You would think that it would HELP THE PROMISE along a little. So far Abraham only owns a burial plot that he bought for Sarah. Why not also form a covenant through a marriage to a Canaanite girl with his son? It was clear that he DOES NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN. Why? Are we to be DISCRIMINATORY when we choose a marriage partner? No, but we are to be DISCRIMINATING.
The Bible speaks of our relationship with God as being the most important relationship we will ever have, even more important than our marriage relationship. When we marry we form a COVENANT. That covenant is used as a picture of our relationship with God. Ephesians 5:25 (NASB) says "Husbands, love your wives, just AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH and gave Himself up for her..." The Canaanites were idol worshipers and REJECTED THE GOD OF ABRAHAM.
There are certain things that DEFINITELY DON’T GO TOGETHER. Ur and Abraham. Sodom and Lot. Idols and the temple. Christ and the devil. Light and darkness. Righteousness and wickedness. A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST MARRYING AN UNBELIEVER. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (NLT) says "DON’T TEAM UP WITH (be UNEQUALLY YOKED with) those who are unbelievers." It’s like harnessing an ox and an ass together.
When Jesus said these words later in Matthew (11:28-30), we see grace, “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.” The yoke literally was what the oxen wore as they plowed the field. But in Jewish culture, it was a symbol of a Rabbi’s teaching.
When Jesus said these words, he was telling us that his teachings are not meant to be a burden like the teachings of the Pharisees that follow all these lists and rules and regulations in order not to sin. His teachings bring life. They bring a life of knowing God and hearing His voice, which is what Jesus says in John’s Gospel as the very definition of eternal life” knowing God. Jesus’ yoke is not meant to weigh us down even though they seem to be such a higher standard than the Law. It is because they are driven by love. God’s love in us as we love others with the love of God. Love is supposed to free us. Judging, comparing ourselves to others, and striving after stuff, puts us in bondage
A Sunday School teacher shared this text with her young pupils, “My yoke is easy. Who can tell me what a yoke is? She asked. A boy raised his hand and said, “A yoke is something they put on the necks of animals Then the teacher asked, “What is the yoke God puts on ...
DR. TOM LONG, WRITES OF THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF VISITING A SMALL, BUT IMPRESSIVE PRAYER CHAPEL, THAT FEATURED A LIFE-SIZED RENDERING OF JESUS, WITH A SIGN ON IT FROM MATTHEW 11:28-30 WHICH SAYS, “COME UNTO ME ALL YE THAT 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.” G. TWELVE CHAIRS HAD BEEN PLACED IN A SEMI-CIRCLE FACING THE PAINTING TO PROVIDE A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO FOCUS ON IT AND EACH CHAIR WAS LABELED WITH THE NAME OF ONE OF THE DISCIPLES. H. DR. LONG WAS STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT ONE CHAIR, AMONG ALL THE OTHERS, SHOWED THE SIGNS OF MOST FREQUENT USE, AND IT WAS THE ONE MARKED “JUDAS.” I. IT’S HARD TO UNDERSTAND ASHLEY SMITH OR, THE INFINITELY LARGER WONDER OF JESUS FORGIVING THOSE WHO CRUCIFIED HIM – “IF” WE HAVE NEVER SAT IN THE CHAIR OF JUDAS, FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING J. HOWEVER, SOME PEOPLE NEVER SIT IN THAT CHAIR, BECAUSE THEY GO THROUGH LIFE LIKE DENNIS LEE CURTIS, AN ARMED ROBBER ARRESTED IN 2002. K. IN HIS WALLET THE POLICE FOUND A PAPER ON WHICH WAS WRITTEN THE FOLLOWING PERSONAL CODE: “I WILL NOT KILL ANYONE UNLESS I HAVE TO. I WILL TAKE ONLY CASH AND FOOD STAMPS -— NO CHECKS. I WILL ROB ONLY AT NIGHT AND NOT WEAR A MASK. I WILL NOT ROB MINI-MARTS. IF I GET CHASED ON FOOT, I WILL GET AWAY. IF CHASED BY A VEHICLE, I WILL NOT PUT THE LIVES OF CIVILIANS ON THE LINE. I WILL ROB ONLY 7 MONTHS OF THE YEAR.” L. DR. BRIAN BURRELL WRITES THIS ABOUT DENNIS LEE CURTIS, “THIS THIEF HAD A SENSE OF MORALITY, BUT IT WAS FLAWED. HIS FOCUS WAS ONLY ON THE WAYS THAT HE WAS ACTING HONORABLY, AND THAT KEPT HIM FROM SEEING THE WAYS HE MIGHT HAVE ACTED EVEN MORE HONORABLY. MR. CURTIS DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN HE STOOD BEFORE THE COURT, HE WOULD NOT BE JUDGED BY THE STANDARDS HE HAD SET FOR HIMSELF, BUT BY THE LAWS OF THE STATE.
Back on the ranch where I spent my summers when I was young, my Dad and some of the other men used to break horses to ride and then would train them for various tasks according to their abilities and breeding.
The first thing they always did was to gain the animal’s trust. They would then trained them to reign, to turn and to stop on a dime, back up, follow a calf, and stand quietly and poised in a shoot ready to launch after a calf, etc. Some they trained as cutting horses, and some as roping horses. But first, there was the process of gently caring for them. This is where they brought in us younger “men” and started to train us to do what they did.
We brushed them, trimmed their hoofs, fed them, and halter broke them so we could lead them from one place to another. We would often tie a younger horse to an older and stronger horse and lead them around the corral. When the younger horse was large enough to carry a rider, we would step up and into the saddle while the young horse was tied close to the saddle horn of the larger horse. Sometimes, because the young horse so trusted us, this last step was not even necessary. Then came the process or teaching the horse to respond to the reigns and other cues.
These young horses didn’t like the new conditions at first. It scared them and they liked their freedom, but in time, through the gentleness of the trainer who showed gentleness and kindness for the horse, and through the example of the older horse, they became trained and learned to love what they did. It was not burdensome. They often had to work hard and would work up a sweat, but they loved it. It was a yoke fitted for their abilities and their natural instincts.
So the Savior promised, “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” It is tailor made for each of us and furthermore, He is always there with us to bear the burden.
I was watching a recent program on TV about trying to reconstruct the chariot’s of the Assyrian army. One of the many problems they discovered was getting the yoke for the horses just right. The yoke they built would hurt the horses and cause them to flinch and run into each other. The reconstructionalist could not duplicate the fearsome charge of the Assyrian Chariots depicted in many of the ancient drawings. I guess making a wooden yoke is not an easy task, but it takes a skilled carpenter to get it right.
(Based on program on TLC, written by Mike Murdock.)