Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
By Lois Parker Edstrom
A picture of oxen yoked together
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by homework, chores, or problems? Perhaps the work is difficult and you don’t quite understand how to do it or the problem seems so big that you wonder what to do about it. Do you ask your mom or dad for help? Moms and dads are not there to solve all of your problems or do your work, but they can help you look at a problem in a different way and offer suggestions for finding a solution. Sometimes the things we are expected to do and the problems we encounter feel like a heavy load – a burden, and we need help.
Jesus talks about this in the Bible and uses a yoke as an example. A yoke is something that joins two things together – usually animals. Before there were tractors or trucks, people used oxen to pull plows and wagons, and oxen are still used today in some parts of the world. Two strong animals, joined together with a yoke, make pulling a wagon easier because there are two pulling instead of one. (Show picture)
When we feel like we are carrying a heavy load or are burdened by problems, Jesus says we can be yoked to him. He says “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me….” (11:29). As we pray and read the Bible we learn how to look at a problem in a different way. We discover that when we work together our load seems lighter and we feel more able to manage and find solutions for our problems.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan