“Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
I’ve always loved this verse. I’ve always loved this verse because it’s so comforting. I loved the idea that the yoke Jesus offers is easy and the burden is light. I am all about easy and light.
After having lived for 53 years, I now know I’ve been completely wrong about this verse.
What I wanted was easy and light. I would love for easy and light to be the theme of my life. That would be great. But, as you know, that’s not life. Not on this planet.
What I failed to realize is that it’s still a yoke. Yokes bind. Yokes are burdensome. Yokes restrict. Yokes are always hard and heavy. Basically, yokes kinda suck.
So, what does Jesus mean when he says, “Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden light”?
I don’t think easy and light have to do with weight and girth. I think what Jesus is saying is, not that yoke stops being a yoke, but that because the yoke under Jesus now is purposeful, that the yoke under Jesus is borne out of love makes it easy and light.
You see, when I have to carry a load because I have to I guarantee that load will be heavy and burdensome. If I have to carry a load without knowing why, that load will always be heavy and hard to bear. But if the load I carry is for my beloved, for someone I cherish, that changes everything. I gladly bear that load. Knowing the purpose, having love be the reason changes everything.
It’s still a yoke. It’s still hard and heavy. But it is not burdensome nor purposeless. Knowing the purpose makes the yoke meaningful. Love changes everything!