A Yoke is a Tool for Work

a yoke of oxen

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

Matthew 11:29 seems to be a key verse for me. I’ve written several devotionals about this, I’ve even preached this a couple of times and taught this in Sunday School classes. I find so much value in this one verse. Today I’d like us to consider the first four words, “Take my yoke upon you.” 

A Yoke is a Tool

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a boss that was a pleasure to work for, but I was blessed with one. I took a job at a new company so I had a new boss and it was like a breath of fresh air. My boss knew what he was doing.

In my previous job, every day was filled with blaming, politics, and crises. With my new boss, we still had our share of problems, but the attitude was different. We focused on solving problems rather than finding scapegoats. I think this employment experience has helped me to better appreciate Matthew 11:29. 

We Still Have Work

Notice in this verse that Jesus didn’t say, “Take your old yoke off and go play in God’s pasture.” There’s no intent from our Lord that  His followers will be free to wander wherever their hearts take them.  We still have work to do!

We still have a yoke, we still have a Master, and we still have our Master’s work to do. Christ’s promise is that He will not be a cruel taskmaster, He will be reasonable and understanding, and He will ensure that we won’t be chasing our tails; we won’t be exhausted from futility; we won’t be burdened with responsibilities while being withheld from the authority and tools to fulfill our assignments. Jesus will equip us for the work He gives us.

How wonderful Jesus is to those that are His. We find rest for our souls in our work for our Lord. It’s kind of like getting a new boss that’s really good at taking care of His people.


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