All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. Matthew 11:29 HCSB
The reference of a yoke in this verse describes a harness that was placed around the neck and shoulders of one or more oxen to connect them to a wagon or plow. Often the yoke was made out of wood and the carpenter would have to make the harness fit the animal. If it did not fit well, the wood would rub blisters and raw spots on the skin of the animal.
Jesus is using the yoke as an illustration of what He requires of people. His requirements are like a yoke that fits well and easy for the animal to pull the load or do the work that is required. Just as a yoke that fits well is gentle, Jesus is gentle and humble in heart. Just as the animal pulls a heavy load, many people are burdened with the heavy load they are carrying of sin, oppression, persecution, and even weariness in search for meaning in life. Jesus can and will help cary the burdens of life.
Challenge: Jesus frees people from the many trials and tribulations in life. The rest that Jesus promises is the love and peace of God. It is not the end of work but rather a real relationship with God. Thank God for the easy yoke He has provided for you.