Tuesday 15 October 2013

Bible Book:

"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens 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." (v.28-30)

Matthew 11:20-30 Tuesday 15 October 2013


When I learned English as a Spanish-speaking child I found somewords very confusing. They sounded the same but meant verydifferent things. People would laugh when I used the wrong one,which left me wondering what I had said that was so funny. One ofthese words was the one that describes the centre of an egg - ayolk. Imagine how confusing it must be to have people laughing whenyou say that Jesus said, "Take my yolk upon you ... "

I eventually discovered the difference between yolk and yoke and Igot the joke. A yoke is used to link two animals together in orderfor them to pull a cart or a plough. The people who Jesus wasspeaking to would have understood the yoke as a symbol of anunwilling burden being imposed on them. But Jesus was going tochange their understanding.

Jesus was teaching his confused followers about the way they shouldlive if they were to be his disciples. He compared the way manylived out their faith to children who refuse to play no matter whatyou offer them. When John the Baptist came, and by his life andteachings challenged the easy-going way people responded to God,they mocked him. When Jesus came and mixed with ordinary peopleothers complained about the bad company he kept.

Jesus tells his disciples that he and the Father are one. Hetherefore has the authority of God to teach whom he chooses andwhat he teaches.

In choosing them, Jesus is not offering a faith made a burden bycomplicated rules and rituals. In the way that a farmer takes careof his animals by lining a yoke so that it does not damage them,Jesus is offering his followers a relationship with God based onlove. A yoke 'lined with love'.

To Ponder

  • In what ways do our church services, or the work carried out bythe Church, make it difficult or easy for new people to understandthat being Christian is being in a loving relationship withGod?
  • In what ways does our relationship with God help us tounderstand the difficult and easy parts to being a follower ofJesus?
  • In a time when most people live in cities and do not have closelinks with agriculture or the countryside what contemporaryexamples might you use alongside those given by Jesus?
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