Don’t Worry… Be Happy
Choose Your Yoke – Part VI
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:25-30 NLT
Key Verses: Matthew 11:29-30 NLT
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Another Bible verse that gives insight into what the word “yoke” really means is 2 Corinthians 6:14:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
This verse is cautioning believers to be careful who they develop close ties with, such as in marriage or with business partners. In fact, the New Living Translation of 2 Corinthians 6:14 says:
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
Second Corinthians 6:15 NLT adds further explanation:
What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?
Yoking yourself with someone is like joining a team; you commit to a person or a group of people. When you agree to yoke yourself to a team, you are saying you agree with their opinions and join together in the effort to push an agenda forward.
So, the Apostle Paul reasons, how can a believer yoke themselves to an unbeliever? How can a believer agree to push the agenda of an unbeliever?
When we yoke ourselves with Jesus, we are joining His “team”. We are saying that we agree with the teachings of Jesus and are ready to push His agenda.
Yoking ourselves to Jesus means that we do our best to stay in step with Him every day. It does not mean that we will be perfect in our efforts, but when we do not stay in step, we feel the “rub” of His yoke. This is the Holy Spirit making sure we know that we failed and need to get back in step with Jesus.
In life, if we yoke ourselves with an unbeliever in any way, we soon realize that we cannot be faithful to an unbeliever and to God. Jesus made it clear that we can never serve two masters:
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 NLT)
The context of this verse is about money, but the principle is true when we think about yoking ourselves to any other person but Jesus. In other words, as Christ-followers we must decide what yoke we wear; the only reasonable answer is Jesus’s.
When other yokes seem appealing, heed Jesus’s words: we cannot serve two masters! A yoke means devotion to the person to whom you have yoked yourself; Jesus calls His followers to a single-minded devotion to Him!
Father, help me to never compromise myself in my devotion to You. May Your Holy Spirit remind me when I start to stray. In Jesus’s Name, amen.