Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jesus is not an OX

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." - Jesus (Matthew 11:29)
We are often given the mental image of two oxen yoked together, the experienced one helping the other. Jesus is portrayed as the experienced ox helping us pull our burdens.

Jesus' hearers had a different picture.

"Yoke", was the term for embracing God's laws; it is still used is this way, today.1 A rabbi's yoke was his unique interpretation of the law. Each rabbi found the brightest and most able students to take his "yoke" hoping their abilities would ensure dominance. They would learn his ways, live his life, and pass it on to other worthy recipients.

Jesus picked fishermen, tax collectors, political zealots, and even poor failures to take his yoke. He knew success advancing the Kingdom depended not upon the ability of the student but the teacher.
"and such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
- 1st Corinthians 6:11
His invitation still stands.

- fritz
1 Search Google for "Yoke of mitzvot"

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