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  #1  
Old Jun 13, '11, 6:04 pm
CanMan86 CanMan86 is offline
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Default What is Jesus' yoke?

"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." Matthew 11:28-30


What is Jesus' yoke and how do we take it upon us?

Would not taking on a yoke be burdensome? I'm getting a little confused here.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Jun 13, '11, 6:12 pm
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

Jesus' commandments are our yoke.

A yoke is a wooden beam between two oxen or other beast of burden which would allow them to pull plows or wagons and such. The yoke allows the animals to work together so that they can do more as a team than they can alone.

It is said that Jesus was a carpenter by trade. There really is little wood in Israel and he would have spent most of his time making door frame lintels and yokes for oxen to pull plows.


-Tim-
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  #3  
Old Jun 13, '11, 7:31 pm
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NotWorthy NotWorthy is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

There are multiple layers going on.

Look back at 1st Kings, chapter 12, when Rehoboam - the son of Solomon - becomes king of the united Israel. The 10 northern tribes came to Rehoboam asking him to ease up on all the harsh laws that Solomon had instituted (a lot of people don't realize that Solomon started off as a wise and good king, but then became very harsh and corrupt).

Quote:
Three days later, Rehoboam gave them his answer, He said to them, as the young men had advised: "My father put on you a heavy yoke, but I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions."
As you can see, Rehoboam was going to be even harder on the 10 northern tribes then Solomon had been. What was the result of this?
Quote:
When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king: "What share have we in David? We have no heritage in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now look to your own house, David."So Israel went off to their tents,
The result was the splitting of the kingdom of the 12 tribes of Israel into the 10 northern tribes (known as the kingdom of Israel) and the 2 southern tribes (known as the Kingdom of Judah).

To make a long story short, Rehoboam split up the kingdom by implementing a heavy yoke, and Jesus is restoring the kingdom, by implementing a light yoke. This theme of restoring Israel is prevalent throughout this part of the Gospel of Matthew. You'll find the 12 Apostles are appointed, restoring the 12 judges of the old kingdom. Peter is appointed as the Prime Minister, as in Isaiah 22. Several more examples could be found, if one has eyes to see!
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  #4  
Old Jun 13, '11, 9:32 pm
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanMan86 View Post
"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." Matthew 11:28-30


What is Jesus' yoke and how do we take it upon us?

Would not taking on a yoke be burdensome? I'm getting a little confused here.

Thanks!
D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 28. All you that, &c. That is, you who are wearied with the heavy load of your sins, and the grievous yoke of the old law. (Menochius)

Ver. 29. Take up my yoke, &c. Fear not the yoke of Christ, for it is a yoke of the greatest sweetness. Be not disheartened when he mentions a burden, because it is a burden exceeding light. If then our Saviour says, that the way of virtue is exceeding narrow, and replete with difficulties and dangers, we must call to mind that it is so to the slothful only. Perform therefore with alacrity what is required, and then will all things be easy; the burden will be light, and the yoke sweet. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxix.)

Ver. 30. For my yoke is sweet, &c. For though, in regard of our weak nature, it be a very heavy yoke, yet the grace of God renders it easy and light, because our Lord himself helps us to bear it, according to that of the prophet Osee, (Chap. xi, ver. 4) I will be unto them as he that takes the yoke from off their heads. St. Bernard says, that our Saviour sweetens by the spiritual unction of his grace, all the crosses, penances, and mortifications of religious souls. St. Augustine owns, that before he knew the power of grace, he could never comprehend what chastity was, nor believe that any one was able to practice it; but the grace of God renders all things easy. (Rodriguez, On Mortification. Chap. xix.)
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  #5  
Old Jun 15, '11, 1:04 pm
Sean from Sarpy Sean from Sarpy is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

Further to the previous reply, a visiting priest put it this way one day during his homily (and I'm paraphrasing)--sharing a yoke with Jesus would be the equivalent of a very small draft animal (us) sharing the load with a very strong draft animal (Christ). He'll be doing all of the heavy work, just walk along with Him.
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  #6  
Old Jun 15, '11, 4:47 pm
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djd83 djd83 is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

That is a really good analogy! []
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  #7  
Old Jun 15, '11, 5:06 pm
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PennyinCanada PennyinCanada is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

I enjoying reading all the above answers!

When I think of Jesus' yoke that is light, I first think of the yolk of the world and how heavy it is, and without hope. Take a teenager in the world. The world will pressure them to try drugs, try drinking, go on the pill, have sex. How many make it to 18 without the scars of these actions? How many girls have gotten pregnant, had an abortion, had their hearts broken? How many make it to 20 without an STD? Maybe even an alcoholic, chronic drug user. How many finished their education and continued on?

A young person who practiced purity, chastity, stayed sober. How much ridicule and taunting did they put up with? Were they marginalized? How difficult was it for them, yet they can come to 18 without the scars and 'life lessons' that the others fell into. Walking with Christ under His yolk seems at the time a burden, yet one comes under His wing, under His protection. How much better is that then to be out were the wolves are waiting?
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  #8  
Old Jun 15, '11, 5:12 pm
garysibio garysibio is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Jesus' commandments are our yoke.

A yoke is a wooden beam between two oxen or other beast of burden which would allow them to pull plows or wagons and such. The yoke allows the animals to work together so that they can do more as a team than they can alone.

It is said that Jesus was a carpenter by trade. There really is little wood in Israel and he would have spent most of his time making door frame lintels and yokes for oxen to pull plows.


-Tim-
Actually there is some evidence that a village was being constructed near Nazareth around the time that Jesus - and Joseph, if he was still alive - would have been plying their trade. They may have had their hands full with the work.
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  #9  
Old Jun 15, '11, 5:15 pm
garysibio garysibio is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanMan86 View Post
"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." Matthew 11:28-30


What is Jesus' yoke and how do we take it upon us?

Would not taking on a yoke be burdensome? I'm getting a little confused here.

Thanks!
It was the practice to pair up an inexperienced ox with one that had been doing the work for a while. The yoke was set so that the older ox got the load of the work and the new one basically learned to walk around in circles. Eventually the newbie got an increased load.
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  #10  
Old Jun 21, '11, 5:58 pm
ryanoneil ryanoneil is offline
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Default Re: What is Jesus' yoke?

Jesus identified himself with "wisdom" in Mat 11:19. He is reinforcing that identification with "wisdom's" invitation to the humble (in the book of Sirach).

My soul grappled with wisdom, and in my conduct I was strict; I spread out my hands to the heavens, and lamented my ignorance of her. 20 I directed my soul to her, and through purification I found her. I gained understanding with her from the first, therefore I will not be forsaken. 21 My heart was stirred to seek her, therefore I have gained a good possession. 22 The Lord gave me a tongue as my reward, and I will praise him with it. 23 Draw near to me, you who are untaught, and lodge in my school. 24 Why do you say you are lacking in these things, and why are your souls very thirsty? 25 I opened my mouth and said, Get these things for yourselves without money. 26 Put your neck under the yoke, and let your souls receive instruction; it is to be found close by. 27 See with your eyes that I have labored little and found myself much rest.


"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.

Jesus is inviting disciples to follow and learn from his obedience to the Father. And he is setting up the controversy over the Sabbath in the next chapter. While the Old Covenant celebration of the Sabbath centered on earthly rest from earthly labor, Jesus was offering heavenly rest in the New Covenant.
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