Jesus Is A Gentle Yokefellow
– Mat 11:29
In days past, before mechanized farm machinery, animals were used to pull the plow. Small farms had just one mule, or ox to pull a plow, but in larger farms they would use a team to pull a larger plow.
When the farmer had a young animal to train he would put him in the yoke with an older, more mature animal. The young animal was easily distracted and would want to run after whatever caught his attention, but being yoked to the older, more settled animal kept the younger in check.
The younger animal didn’t pull much weight at first, but that was OK because the lead animal knew how to pull a load and worked steadily. He wouldn’t pull too hard or move to fast, he just kept up a steady pull. The younger animal would pull against the yoke trying to veer off the course, but the old animal held the course. The ambitious young animal would try to go to fast, but the older animal held him back and stayed the course.
In this passage Jesus was saying, “Get connected to me. I’ll pull the load and I’ll train you to serve in the yoke.” Jesus is the author of our faith and he will perfect our faith (Hebrews 12:2), but we must stay connected to him. When we are connected to him he keeps us going the right direction. We won’t be wandering off because we are harnessed in the yoke with him. We won’t be taken over by zeal and run far ahead of where we should be because we are harnessed to the one who both started and who will finish.
The most difficult times in my life have been when I decided to step outside the yoke of Christ and try things my way. Every time I have done that I’ve found that it would have been much easier if I had stayed in the yoke and did it his way. His way may not be the quickest, but it is the surest.
Prayer: OK Lord, I know that it isn’t easy being yoked to me – I pull and strain to do it my way. Grant me the grace of surrender to your guidance. Amen.
Message: When we are properly connected with Jesus in his yoke he helps us stay the course. He keeps us from wandering and he keeps us from tiring too quickly.
Affirmation: Being yoked to Christ is a joy. He keeps me on the path of righteousness and he helps me to live a consistent life.
Reflection: Picture yourself connected to Christ in such a way that whenever you become distracted he stays the course and when you enthusiastically try to outpace him he keeps you in check. Reflect on what that means to you personally.