Christian Under The Yoke Of Christ

May 31, 2013

The Christian Under The Yoke Of Christ

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  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 11:28-30).

Many object to the thought of being under subjection.  They have no objection to what Christ said in John 8:36.  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” It’s hard to understand how we can be free and, at the same time, be under the yoke of Christ.

In Bible times a yoke was a piece of wood cut to fit over the necks of oxen so they could be used to pull a wagon or a plow.  It enabled the owner of the oxen to take control of them and use them to serve him.  Slavery is like a yoke.  Normally a yoke wasn’t easy to get out from under or to get free from.

Jesus invites us to submit to his yoke.  He says that his yoke is easy and light.  It will be, if we accept it voluntarily and as an act of love.  In this article we will consider what is meant by bearing the yoke of Christ.

Jesus invitation is extended to those who labor and are heavy laden.  The truth is that our work and daily responsibilities leave us with a burden to bear.  The forgiveness of God delivers the sinner from the weight of sin.  In Proverbs 13:15 we read that “The way of the transgressor is hard.”

The first followers of Jesus had learned from their parents the traditions of Judaism.  Under Jesus leadership they had to make some big changes in their thinking.  They had to accept a different concept of many things.  It was a slow process.  When Jesus went back to heaven they still had much to learn.    The Holy Spirit became   their teacher.   John 14:26 says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

We must submit our minds to the yoke of Christ.  Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” That requires an act of the mind.  The ancient farmer had to teach his oxen how to bear the yoke.  He did that by yoking a new ox with one that had already learned.  In the same way, a new believer needs to learn from those who have been bearing the yoke for some time.

Submitting our minds to the yoke of Christ is something that many aren’t willing to do.  It’s sad that many are willing to let their minds soak up what they hear on the radio and the television, but they find it hard to discipline themselves to read the Bible every day and attend church regularly.  It seems that few comprehend what it is to meditate on God’s word.  We have a great need for more men and women who are willing to discipline themselves to really study the Bible.  The mind under the yoke of Christ is capable of taking in and understanding divine revelation.  Those who do so are capable of seeing things from a divine point of View.  I Corinthians 2:16 says, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Our will must also be under the yoke of Christ.  Jesus gave us an example of what is meant by that when he said “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

Obedience is often loathsome to modern men.  They want to be free to do as they please.  When we put ourselves under the yoke of Christ,  it needs to be an act of the will.  Of our own free choice we must choose to follow him.  We do that, knowing that he is our all wise and loving Savior and that he has a plan for our life that far surpasses anything we could chose with our limited mental faculties.

Our obedience needs to flow from the love and respect we have for Jesus.  We can learn from the example of Simon Peter that we read about in Luke 5:1-9.  “And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.    And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.    Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.    And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.    And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.    For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.”  Peter was willing to put his fishing vessel at the disposition of Christ.  When Jesus commanded him to launch out into the deep and let down his nets he could have said, “Look Jesus; I’m a professional fisherman.  What do you know about fishing?”  But no, he said, “At they word I will let down the net.”

 

At the last supper Jesus said to his disciples “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13).  We can’t call him Lord and master unless we are under his yoke.  Those who are under the yoke of Christ never live a wasted life.  It never leads them to shame and disgrace.  If we are under the yoke of Christ, he can use us to be an asset to those around us; not a burden.  You need to be under his yoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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