Fourth Sunday of Pentecost

Our Yokes Rest Easy when Jesus Pulls the Load Beside Us

Matthew 11: 16 - 19, 25 - 30

Luke 10: 21, 22

In Bible times, work animals (usually oxen) worked in pairs, sharing the load. They were yoked together by a hand-carved wooden frame.

The design pressed against the windpipes of horses and choked them, so work horses weren't used in the field until the invention of the horse collar and harness much later in Northern Europe.

So Jesus is talking about oxen here, and about how much easier it is for us to bear our burdens and troubles if we share them with him, as he pulls the load together with us, side by side.

Jesus also talks about John the Baptist in this passage. These two extremely different people were also yoked together, bringing the good news of God to the people who wanted and needed to hear it.

1. How did John the Baptist live?

[John the Baptist lived very simply, eating desert food and wearing a camel's hair robe.]

2. How did Jesus live?

[Jesus was the guest of many very wealthy people, and he ate and drank as they did.]

3. Did both men bring the Word of God to the people?

[Yes, both John the Baptist and Jesus put the people and the Word of God first in their lives.]

4. What did Jesus promise to everyone who came to him?

[Jesus promised rest for their souls.]

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