Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsWMA: The Yoke

WMA: The Yoke

By Judy Wallace

      The young ox had watched the process for a long time. He was fascinated that the older oxen came directly to the master as soon as they were summoned. They knew exactly what to do; it was as if they were directly connected to Him. He would come forward slowly, speaking gently to the them as he approached. They responded accordingly.

      The master brought a yoke with him. It was plain, rough and massive. Most viewed it as a symbol of slavery, subjection and servitude as with it came images of heavy burdens and long, hard hours of labor. The juvenile calf also thought it to be a thing of dread and despair. But the older animals showed no sign of fear, nor did they cower as he lowered the yoke: first fitting it over the shoulders, then around the neck.

      What came next was hard to fathom. Instead of choosing a second animal to harness to the first, the Master Himself went under the weight — the lowly ox on one side, the knowing master on the other. The beast shifted its body to adjust to the fact that the load seemed suddenly lighter, more manageable than before. The command was given to move forward and instead of a clumsy lurch that would have been expected, a slower, more purposeful gait was taken.

      The calf found itself watching only the master instead of the ox that was with him. With each step forward, he was constantly interacting with the animal. With each step forward, he was giving instructions and pointing out pitfalls. With each step forward, he was explaining the goal and constantly calling the animal to follow his lead and learn from him. The ox still had the same load, the same burden; but it seemed not to notice since it was now a shared load. The fact that it was watching closely, listening carefully and engrossing itself deeply in the wise words it was being given, meant that thoughts of self and the burdens it carried were no longer dominant.

      The emphasis now was on learning about the master and from the master. With the concentration on his instructions, attributes and characteristics it dawned on the calf — that was the true yoke! It wasn’t an instrument to be feared after all, but one that kept the eyes and the heart where they should have been all along — only on the master. Now the ox became humble, teachable, at peace.

      The calf continued to observe, thinking that the sooner he matured, the sooner his time would come to take up His yoke. But then the truth became very clear. The sooner he humbled himself to take up his yoke, the sooner he would mature.

         Scripture — “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).

      What are the three commands? What are the two characteristics of Christ mentioned here? What is said about the yoke and the results of taking it on?

      “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:5-9).

      What is the command? List all the examples of what could be considered Christ’s yoke given in this passage. How did He respond to these? Go back to the command. What is the key to emulating these characteristics? What do you learn from the first word, “Let?”

         Response — Learn Christ! Take on His yoke daily! He is sharing the load with you! Renew yourself in Christ daily. Renew by being in the Word daily. Renew by meditating on the characteristics of Christ daily. Renew by worshiping at His feet daily.

         Prayer — “Father, help me to learn You! Not just about you or of You but learn You! Help me focus on how you acted in your daily walk, how you interacted with those closest to you and how you responded to all the people around you. Help me be humbled before you, compassionate toward others and keenly aware of the opportunities you place in my path — then help me to take them!”

      “Behold Him! Look at Him! Just be occupied with Him! Come to the Word for one purpose and that is to meet the Lord.” (Norman Douty)

         — These articles are shared via the National WMA web page blog that can be accessed at nationalwma.org/blogs.

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