Our scripture this week is Matthew 11:25-30.

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

In this passage Jesus shares His invitation to be part of the kingdom work for which He came. He calls each of us to be part of His team, using an example from the farm practice of that time – the yoke, which was used to pair oxen together for strong and efficient plowing. When two oxen worked together, side by side it was much faster.

Is Jesus saying we are like oxen? Well, He has compared us to sheep before (which is not very flattering, but truer than we would like to admit!) and it is only for showing us how we are called to work together, as a team of oxen does, and that we are stronger when we are united. When we accept His burden and help each other, we are all made better.

The other point He doesn’t say specifically is that while we take His yoke, it is Jesus Himself by our side to help us bear the burden. He came to be yoked with us and for us, saving us from the weight of our sin through His sacrifice. Are we pulling our weight in the yoke with Him?

Gracious God, we thank You for the gift of our Savior, who came willingly to be one of us and relieve our burden. Make us strong and faithful to the kingdom, willing to work beside Jesus for the good of all. Amen.

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