Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Learning from Jesus

“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.”

Matthew 11:29-30

The term “yoke” initially suggests an image of slavery, oppression and foreign domination. Practically seen, it was a cross-shaped, wooden, framework which was placed across the shoulders of cattle and tied with ropes around the neck. In this manner, the animals were able to plough or pull a wagon. In this world, people usually have to carry, and drag along with us, a lot of burdens. Some are the consequences of sin (Genesis 3:17) and others, we as Christians, should steer clear from (unequally yoked together with unbelievers as exhorted in 2 Corinthians 6:14). Unfortunately, it often occurs that some pious people (scribes for example) impose various additional burdens (duties) (Luke 11:46) on believers out of sheer hypocrisy and arrogance. Jesus condemned this practice, because it is not His yoke and does not reflect the truth of the Gospel, which He as a Person represents (John 8:36). We should not take the “yoke of bondage” upon ourselves anew (Galatians 5:1). A Christian is not a pack-horse! A yoke, in accordance with God, is something positive. Why? It protects us from harm and wrong paths. Without the yoke the plough-animal would walk everywhere, just not on the predetermined path. Presumably, he may even strangle himself on the ropes if the load is not balanced evenly on both shoulders. He would then tilt either to the left or the right and stumble over his own feet.

The yoke of faith is God's commandments and counsels in the Bible. It is the circumstances that we as holy ones are still living in unholy surroundings, namely a godless world. Compared to the rules and regulations and laws relevant to a godless life, God's commandments and counsels are easy and gentle. And for the sole reason that the One from Whom they emanate, is our God. And HE says of Himself, that He is meek and humble from the heart! God is meek and humble – from the heart – can we comprehend this? What is the reason why the yoke is easy? Because God helps us carry it! Hebrews 2:16-18 says: “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” When someone does something “from the heart” then it is not put-on or trained, but depicts his character and his stance. We, as Christians, need this guide, help and protection, because this world in which we live is evil and dangerous (John 16:33). It often causes us to fear. What God imposes upon us, serves as our self-defence and spiritual growth and has no bearing on His love, loyalty and grace and that which awaits us in eternity (1 Corinthians 2:9).

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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