“Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me. . .”
Once we learn this “secret,” we’ll experience His Peace so sweet, serene and sublime.
We’re unfamiliar with them. But, the little we know of them through pictures or a hands-on experience in seeing and touching one makes today’s Manna a difficult one indeed to understand.
Yokes were large and heavy. Two beasts of burden were placed underneath them with a crossbeam between them. And, the whole purpose of them was to attach the beasts to the load they were pulling. A load they’d pull in the hot of the day. Or maybe a large plow that dug down deep into the hard earth, causing them to grunt and groan as they strained to move forward.
Sounds real inviting, doesn’t it?
Why, then, would our Master use such an analogy in the context of finding “rest unto our souls” (vv.29-30)?
Simply because it is our “communion-union” with Him that produces His “Peace that passes all understanding” (Jn. 14:27; Phil. 4:7; Jn. 15:1-7).
When we realize the yoke Jesus most likely referred to was the one in His day that was unequal in size and weight as it lay across the crossbeam, a whole new world opens up to us. Try even now to envision this:
One side of the yoke would be longer and heavier, while the other side was shorter and lighter. The older, more experienced oxen (or whatever animal was used) would be placed under the longer, heavier portion. The younger, less experienced oxen would be placed under the other side.
Why was this?
Simply because the older, more experienced oxen was the “teacher”—yea, the “mentor”—for the younger, inexperienced oxen. And, so long as the “apprentice,” “trainee” or “disciple” let the “master” lead, the “yoke would be easy (Grk. ‘chrestos’—‘better, good, gracious, kind, etc.’) and the burden light.” But, if he continually insisted on “doing it my way,” his mouth would be sore from biting at the bit and his shoulders sore from chaffing under the yoke.
That’s why Jesus said “and learn of Me.”
He knew a strong, self-willed person would never know His Peace or enjoy His Rest so long as he thought he knew better and didn’t “seek Him” (Mt. 6:33) or surrender to Him. Truly, it’s only in “dying to ourselves” by being “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) that we find what we’re looking for: “Rest unto our souls” (Mt. 11:28c). Let Him take the lead today, Pilgrim. He’s promised to “guide your steps” (Prov. 3:5-6) as you “stay your mind on Him, letting Him lead and sustain you by His sufficient Grace” (Is. 26:3; II Cor. 12:9-10). Trust Him.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 10, 2010