Yoke

From Matthew 11

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

How do you understand this passage?

How does it relate to the OT understanding of "yoke?"

Is the yoke of Jesus really light?

Another rendition of the same verse:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message)

Does this change your understanding of what Jesus is saying?

Comments

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    And how does this mesh with taking up your cross and following him? And if we do not reject our birth family we're not worthy of following him?
  • For a start, the word for "rest" means "respite". No promise of no burdens at all.

    Secondly, the word "yoke" brings unhelpful connotations of weight and slavery. I don't know if it's true, but I've often heard it said that a more experienced draught animal would be paired with a younger one to teach it the right pace. And that's an explanation I'd grab with both hands.

    Thirdly, my conviction is that in contrast to the "dead works" which are mentioned in Hebrews 9:14, Christ calls us to "live works" which, while not effortless or without difficulty, are things we can flourish in. This is Christ's easy yoke and light burden. Our salvation is not contingent on these works, rather these works are the product of a delight in God's grace.

    Finally, I love the Message paraphrase of the Matthew 11 passage, "learn from me the unforced rythyms of grace".
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Secondly, the word "yoke" brings unhelpful connotations of weight and slavery. I don't know if it's true, but I've often heard it said that a more experienced draught animal would be paired with a younger one to teach it the right pace. And that's an explanation I'd grab with both hands.

    Did the Hebrews not understand the term Taking on the Yoke to mean binding yourself to the Torah? Seems like Jesus is twisting that thought around. While the Torah in and of itself was considered a blessing, but by the time of Jesus you have the Pharisees making it a burden with all their petty laws. Note that in Matthew 12 the Pharisees take on Jesus for violating the Sabbath laws.
  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Did the Hebrews not understand the term Taking on the Yoke to mean binding yourself to the Torah? Seems like Jesus is twisting that thought around. While the Torah in and of itself was considered a blessing, but by the time of Jesus you have the Pharisees making it a burden with all their petty laws. Note that in Matthew 12 the Pharisees take on Jesus for violating the Sabbath laws.
    I think that is correct. Perhaps it would have been better if that saying had not been separated from the following passage which concludes that the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath and that "something greater than the temple is here."

    Matthew's structure appears to have been violated by the introduction of the chapter break.
  • The would confirm the idea that binding oneself to Christ is something that grants freedom and lightness rather than imposing the weight of the Law.
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