Chancellor's Challenges: The Yoke
Farming in the days before mechanization relied heavily on the draught animals to carry the burden of plowing and pulling. These animals could be mules, horses, cows, or oxen but would usually require a yoke. There were single yokes for one animal or a double yoke for two. This was a carved piece of wood that often went over the animal's shoulders and was attached under the neck by a bent piece of wood. The swivel in the middle would attach to a whippletree (crossbar) that would equalize the pull from the two different abilities of the animals.
When Jesus says that we should take His yoke,
Come to Me, 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. (Matthew 11:28-30)
He is telling us an agrarian story. Two animals of unequal ability were often paired together recognizing that the strength of one who would be doing the major part of the pulling would compensate for the other. In Jesus telling us to take on His yoke, we would be the recipient of His pulling power for our burdens. Our weariness would be overcome by His strength. He is saying, “Come be My yokefellow. Attach yourself to Me and find rest. Pull in the direction that I am going and you will find your burdens lifted.” Are you overwhelmed with the endless stream of news, the concern of the coronavirus, or the uncertainty of what is happening in the world? Jesus offers peace and rest for your soul. Come to Him and go in His direction. Find Him to be a willing yokefellow.