Death · Life · Love · Marriage · Restoration · Work

the yoke of Love…

“… Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” –Jesus

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Jesus calls all who are tired… burdened… weighed down with life… to put on His yoke … learn from Him… come to know His heart… and find soul-full rest…

Yoke… a wooden bar or frame used to join two working animals together… such as oxen… the yoke keeps them side by side…

yoke-burden-light-Jeremiah's Menu

[“Yoke on the Wall” by MTSOfan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ]

Metaphorically… a yoke is used as a picture of a burden… bondage… slavery…

Jesus’s yoke comes with a promise of rest… refreshment… a light and easy load to carry…

How many things in this world can you yoke yourself to which make such a promise…?

Well… maybe they make the claim… but do they deliver…?

The Greek word translated as yoke… also means… a balance… pair of scales… (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon)

A yoke paints a picture of two things working together as one…

But the transliterated word from the Greek caught my attention… zygos

Having an education in the sciences… primarily biology and chemistry… I recognized an English word and looked to see if they were connected…

zygote… [Greek zygotos yoked, from zygoun to join…] a cell formed by the union of two gametes broadly: the developing individual produced from such a cell…

–Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dict. (11th Ed.)

Yes… zygote comes from the Greek zygotos meaning yoked… two cells joining together to become one…

But wait… there’s more…!

Gamete… a cell of one kind that joins with a cell from the opposite sex to form a zygote… also has a Greek root… gametes meaning husband… whose root is… gamein… meaning to marry (Merriam-Webster’s Dict.)

God inspired Paul to use the metaphor of husband and wife in Ephesians 5 to help us understand the relationship between Christ and His church…

Jesus is the Bridegroom… the church is the bride…

This yoke He invites us under… is a marriage yoke… the yoke of Love…

Love invites us to come out from under every other yoke we enslave ourselves to in the world to come alongside Him… as one…

So often… the alternate yoke we attach ourselves to is the yoke of others’ expectations… including the expectations we set on our self…

When we work under the yoke of pleasing anyone but Jesus… it is heavy… burdensome… unwieldy… exhausting…

Jesus… He is Love… His burden… His yoke… light… easy…

In marriage… the man and wife become one… and from this union flows life…

In the spiritual marriage… the love covenant with Jesus… we too become one…

The church is the Body of Christ…

From this two becoming One… we gain life… eternal and abundant…!

When we yoke ourselves to flesh… i.e. other’s expectations… the relationship is parasitic… and leads to death…

Even when we try to live up to our own expectations… our lives are consumed… leaving us drained… dead… for we cannot save ourselves…

“…For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. …” –Jesus

Mark 8:35 NRSV

Yes… Jesus offers the yoke of Love… a much better offer than anything else available to us in all the earth…

But… it still takes work…

Work to stay under the yoke of Love… work to remember His love… fall in love with Love… and it takes work… to silence the flesh…

Whose yoke do you find yourself under these days…? are you weary…? burdened…? burned out…?

Maybe… it’s time to re-evaluate who you are serving…

There is only one way… to save your life… to have life… and it’s all in losing it… binding it… to Jesus… who is… Love… Himself…

Amen…

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