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Yoke in the Bible – What is it?

28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

image of a yoke

image of a yoke

If you were like me you have always heard the Bible verse about my yoke being easy. If you were like me, you didn’t know what that mean. Maybe you thought it was a type of egg he was referring to. I felt led to share what a yoke is in my blog. If you notice one is spelled y-o-l-k and the other is spelled y-o-k-e. I never noticed that before until 2013 from a sermon when I visited this one church in Maryville, TN. Then it all made sense to me. states:

1. a device for joining together a pair of draft animals, especially oxen, usually consisting of a crosspiece with two bow-shaped pieces, each enclosing the head of an animal.

2. a frame fitting the neck and shoulders of a person, for carrying a pair of buckets or the like, one at each end.

3. an emblem or symbol of subjection, servitude, slavery, etc., as an archway under which prisoners of war were compelled to pass by the ancient Romans and others.
4. something that couples or binds together; a bond or tie.
image of a cracked egg with yolk

image of a cracked egg with yolk

With Christ all things are possible. Christ will help lead our way, guide our path. The yoke we carry is light, especially compared to the cross that Christ carried to die for our sins. Jesus has set up free from the yoke, without Jesus we become slaved to sin. Galatians 5:1 shows us this.
With Jesus helping us with our burdens he is helping us carry our yoke, making it easy to carry and not constricting. Jesus takes our burdens and carries them with us. The bond of the yoke, helps you be as strong as the other, to help make things easier. So the yoke from Christ, it is very light, very easy to use, won’t hold you down or weigh you down. We just have to trust in Christ. Without Jesus the yoke would be hard to carry. Remember with Christ all things are possible, with man it is not.
It is easier to train the young animal to carry the yoke while it is young, then when it gets older. So bring up your children in the way of the Lord. Teach them to obey all things that the Lord has commanded.
We don’t want to go against the yoke and get the prick! We need need Jesus with us. He will help us carry the load. That is what the yoke is for to help the other carry the load.
Below is a quote I found by Jim McGuiggan.

This all sounds right to me, still, if Christ was very demanding, in what sense is his yoke easy and his burden light? Well, I don’t think we’re to take these words as meaning his demands are less (clearly they aren’t). My suspicion is that we’re to think of the yoke and burden assuited to the needs and longings of the people. If you long for fullness of life and if someone you trust as kind shows you how you can have it and fits you out with what you need to get it then the yoke and burden have your heart’s consent! You aren’t chafing, then, under the yoke and you aren’t continuously irritated by pointless weight.”

Looking at the word “yoke” is found in the New Living Translation 32 times; while the New International Version shows the word, 60 times, The New King James Version, 57 times, The Holman Christian Standard Version, 55 times, and the King James Version shows the word, 58 times.
So what did you think a yoke was? Did you think it was an egg, animal device or anything else? Do you have anything you wish to share? Comments are welcome!

First published February 26, 2013. Republishing April 12, 2015. 

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Categories: Bible Church Galatians God Jesus Christ Matthew Misc Notes Quotes Sermon Notes Yoke

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Steve Patterson

My name is Steve Patterson and I am saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. I have been blogging at Courageous Christian Father since 2012, however, I have been blogging since around 2004. I listen to nothing but Christian Music. I work as a graphic designer.

3 replies

  1. Thats the funny thing about knowing something. Sometimes when you know something you forget that there was a time when you had to have it explained to you. So someone out there is in need of having it explained to them. You could have been 7, or 27, or 47. It doesn’t really matter. Knowledge is power, and those with knowledge, sometimes forget that others don’t always know the same things. Don’t always assume the world looks the same from the other side.

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