Yokes were made of wood with two hollowed out sections on the bottom portion that rested on the necks of oxen, which used to plow or to draw a cart. Figuratively, a yoke symbolized servitude or submission. Jesus is admonishing us to submit ourselves to Him, for true rest comes from serving Him – not ourselves.
A new ox was often trained for plowing or drawing a cart by yoking him with an experienced ox. The yoke kept the young ox from ‘doing his own thing’ and he soon learned obedience to his master. In like manner, we are to commit ourselves to being yoked to Jesus. ‘It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps’ (Jer. 10:23). Therefore, we have to ‘bear the yoke in our youth’ (Lam. 3:27) if we want to become mature Christians. The comparison ends at this point, though. Unlike the, sometimes, harsh treatment oxen are given to bring them into subjection, Jesus is ‘meek and lowly in heart,’ and wins us by love. Jesus pulls more than His ‘share’ of the load; therefore, our burden is light.
The most loving father in the world cannot compare with the love our Heavenly Father has for us. And yet, many times we find it easier to believe in the willingness of a father or mother or mate to help us than in the willingness of God to use His power on our behalf. Relatively few people really doubt God’s ability, but rather, it is our doubt of His willingness to use His ability on our behalf that causes most people to do without. Jesus assures us that God’s love, and His willingness to demonstrate that love, is far greater than we can ever experience in any human relationship. Not only does He want our love, but wants you to let Him love you today.