~ Due to time issues, I am just going to put a rough outline of my thoughts here. I will work it out later.
I. What is a yoke?
A. Many types
1. A single strap often put around the neck of a someone like a slave.
2. A wooden balance shaped object with two bows for placing the heads of cows.
3. A yoke with multiple bows suited for many cows
1. To lighten a load
2. To provide balance
3. Illustration: Like the straps on a backpack. They make the load more manageable It beats carrying a heavy handful of books.
C. In the Bible
1. Yoke stands for the physical implement put around the neck
i. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” ~ 2 Cor. 6:14). I.C.1.i.
2. Yoke stands for both the physical implement and so also the burden.
i. “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” ~ 1 Kings 12:4
3. Etc. Verses can be multiplied
II. The Nature of Yokes
A. We were created/designed to be yoked.
1. I.e. We have been created to do things with our two hands
2. We have not been created to have empty hands.
i. Illustration: Upon retirement, boredom surprisingly sets in rather than rest & relaxation. * CB2
B. This means that there is always something to do.
1. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:10
i. No such thing as unemployment when you live under God.
ii. The unemployment rate is 0 in the Kingdom of God.
iii. God is sending us a stream of good works (= yokes) our way. Things for us to do.
C. We are all constantly under a yoke – like it or not
1. During Jesus’ day
i. The yoke of the Scribes and Pharisees, 1,001 rules
ii. The Roman Yoke – taxes, rough rulers
2. During Jesus’ day and our day
i. Having a hectic, stressful life.
ii. Your job – can be a light yoke or harsh one ~~> Having a tyrant for a boss at the workplace
iii. Having a mental illness like schizophrenia and as such being on meds which keep you weak and sluggish 24/7.
iv. Alcoholism or being addicted to a drug. Your drug is your yoke. Though chosen, now its a very difficult yoke to be free from.
v. The yoke of being in debt to someone. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. ~ Prov. 22:7
vi. While employment can be a yoke (see ii.) so also can unemployment (creditors knocking, bills piling up, etc.)
vii. Being unequally yoked (in marriage, crooked business partner, etc.). See I.C.1.i. ~~> 2 Cor. 6:14
viii. Living under a totalitarian regime
ix. the yoke of sin… our natures are sinful
III. The Nature of Christ’s Yoke in itself
A. Not a yoke that is imposed on us (e.g. Roman yoke) but a yoke we take on. “Take My yoke upon you.”
1. Which means that it can be rejected to our detriment.
B. Must be taken on and learned from: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from me.”
C. The yoke of a gentle and humble Person, not a ruthless boss: “For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
IV. The Nature of Christ’s Yoke in relation to other yokes
D. If taken on, will in due course expunge all yokes involving sin on your part (e.g. doing drugs)
E. If taken on, will make lighter and more bearable, all other yokes, not involving sin on your part (e.g. being delivered from tyrant boss.)
F. Summa: If you take on Christ’s yoke, other yokes in your life will become either be removed or be made more bearable. i.e. the burden becomes lighter.
IV. The Nature of Christ’s Yoke & You
1. Oxen in training are put into the bows of a yoke. One ox will be strong. The other will be weak and perhaps just a baby. This strong Ox pulls the bulk of the weight and thus trains the smaller ox.
2. Almost as if Christ is a yokefellow of yours, being yoked together with you and thus teaching you.
~ Only sinners get sick. Saints do not.
~ Only sinners get unemployed. Saints do not? No?