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The Yokes On Me

August 22, 2012


Jesus said:

“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.”  Matthew 11: 28-30

This is one of my favorite passages in all of scripture.  Here Jesus calls anyone who is struggling to simply come to Him and then find rest.  This message is so comforting because we all struggle at times and desperately need to find a place of comfort and rest so that we can just recharge and face another day of challenges.  

However, the way Jesus wants us to find this rest is very unique.  In fact it is a total contradiction.  In order to find the rest that Jesus wants us to have He invites us to take His yoke upon us.  In the world yokes are meant for oxen or other beasts of burden, so that they can be controlled better while carrying very heavy loads.  Yet the yoke Jesus suggests for us is one that is not burdensome at all, in fact it is easy and light.

Jesus wants us yoked with Him so that we can learn directly from Him how to better navigate the path He sets before us in this life.  Yokes are usually made for two animals so that they can pull in tandem, side by side.  Here I believe Jesus is suggesting to us that we should allow His Spirit to be yoked with us.  This makes perfect sense because The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, is literally The One called alongside us.  Why would we ever go it alone in this life when God has fully provided a better way for us.  A way to do it with Him, instead of all on our own.

Jesus clearly wants us in His yoke so that we can learn directly from Him.  However, far too many of us are yoked with something or someone else altogether.  Yoke with the church and it will fail you.  Yoke with a Pastor and they will fail you.  Even yoke with the bible and it will fail you.  Jesus and His Spirit are the only ones who really fit into the yoke with you.  So if you want to learn directly from The One who is gentle and humble in heart, Jesus Himself, then step right up and take His yoke upon you.  This is THE way Jesus wants us to learn.  Sermons get you no where.  The bible only gets you part way.  Same goes for commentaries or other written works of men.  Sure secondary revelation can help at times, but there is nothing like direct teaching and revelation from The One called right alongside us.  

Why read a book when you can actually experience Truth in Love?  Why settle for a postcard when you can actually take the trip for yourself?  We all have plenty of questions, but ONLY HE has answers.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

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  1. timbushong permalink

    “Sermons get you no where. The bible only gets you part way. Same goes for commentaries or other written works of men. Sure secondary revelation can help at times, but there is nothing like direct teaching and revelation from The One called right alongside us.”

    Sorry I didn’t get in on the Romans 9 post- I’ve been really busy.

    First of all, sermons, preached by faithful and qualified pastors, are one of the means that God has ordained to edify His people. Right?

    Second, commentaries aren’t really considered as ‘revelation’- they are ‘comments’ on the text written by skillful and godly men who elucidate the Bible, again for our edification.

    Third, the Bible is the only source of knowledge that you (Chris) have for arriving at, and resting upon, the following doctrines:

    The deity of Christ
    The triune nature of God
    Justification by faith alone
    What Jesus said
    What the apostles said
    Our origins
    What God’s Law requires


    Of course, the application of the Bible is by the Holy Spirit, Who alone applies them and makes them come alive, and the living out of all these wonderful truths are to be done in community with other believers, but I know that because… the Bible tells me so… (o:

  2. Tim, your 3rd point is false. I know about things you listed via The Holy Spirit directly, sometimes The Spirit used the bible, sometimes He did not. The bible is NOT the ONLY source of knowledge, it is The Spirit that is The Great Teacher and leads us into ALL truth, not the bible.
    I also do not think that God ordained sermons at all, what He did ordain is dialogue between saints, there are no monologues recorded in the New testament.

  3. Stephen Roland permalink

    Kirk, just before reading your blog tonight I was reading Matthew chapter 5 in the Greek linear bible. Where it says Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted, the Greek word is paraklet-hesontai. Saying that the only way to receive the kingdom we have to be first poor in spirit (which He is faithful to reveal our bankrupt state to us), and that in our mourning He will send the comforter (paraklet). One who
    comes beside, with whom we can be yoked with. Just beautiful.

  4. timbushong permalink

    “…there are no monologues recorded in the New testament.”

    Matthew 5-7, Acts 17:22-31, Acts 7:2-53, and many more…

  5. Tim, dialogomai (dialogue) all around.

  6. "BK" Zimmer permalink

    Great discussion here! I have to say I guess I’m kind of in the middle here as I do believe we can hear the Lord through commentaries, etc; as well as a discussion on a blog such as this. I don’t think it has to be ‘qualified’ or ‘skillful’ men…..anyone speaking or writing in His anointing ‘qualifies’.

    I have to agree with the fact there is nowhere in scripture that says God anoints pastors to preach sermons. I have, however, heard the Lord in a sermon; in spite of it’s going against scripture, not with it. Tim, can you tell us who was the pastor at Ephesus? Corinth? Collosae? Phillipi? There is no one man ever recorded as ‘the pastor’ anywhere. In fact, the one place it is mentioned in Eph 4:11, it is a list of ways the gifting of the Spirit will manifest through the all, not a specified group of select leaders.

    I checked out the examples of monologue and found in Acts 17 you have to start at vs 19 to see Paul was answering a question asked of him (dialogue, not sermon); in Acts 7 you have to include vs 1 to see the high priest engaged Stephen by asking him a question (dialogue). In Matt 5 – 7 it does appear Jesus singularly spoke but I wouldn’t call it a ‘sermon’. In fact, I looked that up one time to see how many times pulpit and sermon are mentioned in the Bible….anyone know how many times?

    Just my thoughts, “BK”

  7. BK, and all, I, too, have heard The Lord via sermons and commentaries and other works of men. I do not limit The Lord from being able to speak through just about any means, however, some ways are more excellent than others, at least they have been in my experience. Many times The Lord speaks in spite of us, not because of us or our chosen methods. Good discussion. Love, Chris

  8. "BK" Zimmer permalink

    Amen, Chris, amen. I have been privileged to be one who has received most of what I know of ‘coming out of her’ and the religious world by direct revelation from Him….being very surprised there were others who saw the things I did as I read their works and found confirmation. I would rather have it that way, for sure, but I do know He doesn’t work solely in this manner. And, I agree, that doesn’t make man’s way’s and mis-interpretations ‘right’; just underscores His mercy that He moves and speaks regardless (in spite of) our methods. So, again, amen. Love, “BK”

  9. Martin permalink

    Doesn’t Randy Stonehill deliver sermons, albeit via song? Didn’t Paul deliver such a long sermon that someone fell out of window? Dunno, guys, trying to be absolute about your interpretation of the ancient manuscripts is like trying to be sure that your dog will always bring the ball back when you through it. There’s just too many variables both in the translation, the 100s of times the books were manually re-written, and never edited, and being sure you aren’t forcing your own cultural milieu upon the text.

    Being sure about what you heard from “The LORD” is just as errant too. I can’t even being to care what your text says anymore, as it’s just another mans

    Chris, you start every ‘sermon’ here with a quote from your HOLY Book, as if somehow it gives you some sort of authority. IT doesn’t.

  10. Martin, I love songs over sermons any day. And check it out…Paul used dialogomai, not a sermon on that or any ocassion. Sure me and my understanding can be faulty. Feel free to vent anytime here my brother, but I do value the bible as an authority, NOT THE authority mind you.. Love you Martin and have a great birthday.

  11. Martin permalink

    Being sure about what you heard from “The LORD” is just as errant too. I can’t even being to care what your text says anymore, as it’s just another mans writings….

  12. But Martin, according to you everything is just another man’s writings and nothing is special or revelatory. You read my posts because you are my friend and you know me. Love you bro!

  13. "BK" Zimmer permalink

    Hi, Martin. Actually, I was quite stunned one day as I was looking into the sermon thing and looked up the very instance you speak of, when the kid fell out of the window. Chris is right on this one; the greek word is dialogomai….they were having a discussion, not a sermon in that instance. Didn’t have to dig too deep on that one so I don’t think it’s a stretch or cultural thing at all. I’ve never really heard songs called sermons; I guess if you want to see them that way that is your perogative (did I spell that right????) For sure what anyone writes is ‘man’s writings’…..the difference is when the Spiritis prompting it, then it is God’s writing. But even having said that, I do realize He really does speak one thing to one person and maybe something else to another, so it isn’t only in the writing of an inspired word, but also the one reading has to be inspired to hear if it’s for them or I agree, it’s just dead letter. Said all that to say, ‘dialogue all night when kid fell out of window’, I can see your points on other stuff (well, maybe not on the music being a sermon). Good to read your thoughts again, Martin. It’s been a long time.

  14. Martin, The funny thing about all of this is the fact that most people condemn and judge me for my “low view of scripture” and now you have a problem with me using it at all. I know you can’t please everyone, but all I try to do is to surrender unto Jesus and have His Spirit write through me. Even when I surrender to this well what I write still has part of me in it too. Hopefully it is usually more of Him and less of me though. Thanks for helping me find my balance dear friend.

  15. timbushong permalink

    “Tim, dialogomai (dialogue) all around.”

    Chris- you’re assuming that because the “dialogomai” is used for ‘two-way dialog’ in some sections of Scripture, then it MUST mean that every single time it’s used. There’s context, syntax, grammar, lexical meanings- all manner of considerations that need to be taken into account. I’m just surprised that you didn’t see the application of context in the 3 texts I mentioned, as there is no recorded response to the preacher in any of them (except for the very end of Acts 17 passage- since Paul is finished with his proclamation).

    Martin said that “There’s just too many variables both in the translation…”. I don’t think that’s the issue- the real culprit is eisegesis- having a preconceived interpretation and reading THAT into the text.

  16. Tim, now you have me laughing and scratching my head. So you are suggesting that dialogomai does not mean dialogomai in some places? That is absurd.

  17. Of this I am certain, the word for dialogue NEVER means monologue or sermon. You can twist it, manipulate it, or parse it a million times and it will still mean dialogue at the end of the day

  18. As an example of the principle of context determining meaning, we can look at quite a few words that, given their context, carry different meanings than just one. Take the word “kosmos” in John- there are at least 11 different applications of this word, sometimes meaning ‘universe’, sometimes ‘world outside Israel’, sometimes meaning ‘wicked system’- it depends on the context. Then there’s “sozo”- it’s also used in differing ways. And let’s not forget the word ‘pas’, either- sometimes it means “each and every one”. Context.

    (And neither the “Sermon on the Mount”, the sermon on Mars Hill, nor Stephen’s pre-martyrdom sermon were examples of “dialogomai’, either- they are all flat-out proclamations.)

    Look, I think that your ‘method’ of church meeting can be beneficial, but there’s a time and a place for it. At our fellowship, we have a set time for dialog and a set time for proclamation. We have both, and it’s great. There are those who do more preaching that others, who ‘labor in the Word’- they’re called elders, but I know you already know this…

  19. I still do not believe they were traditional sermons, the word sermon is not there in the Greek or English. Interactivity is what I love and look for when we share the gospel with one another.

  20. The word is didaskō- to teach- and kērussō, meaning to preach- to herald, to proclaim. It matters what the Word says; what one believes or what one looks for are (at the risk of sounding terse) irrelevant in comparison to the inspired Scriptures.

  21. It means inspired preaching, but preaching does not have to be a sermon or monologue.

  22. You haven’t provided examples of anyone ‘answering back’ to the preachers in the examples that I gave- perhaps you are thinking more of Paul’s Acts 19:9 experience- “He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus”- that is most definitely “dialogomai.” in the interactive sense.

    But even in the Eutychus narrative it says that Paul “talked on and on”. Now, of course there may have been interaction going on, and the word used for ‘preaching’ there is “dialogomai”, but there’s simply no record of interactive dialog happening here, and neither in the 3 previous references that I made.

    To be honest, I think that Scripture is clear about BOTH interactive dialog AND lecture-style preaching being in play. Are we both correct? That would be awesome…

    Take care, Chris.

  23. Unfortunately the bible does not give us blow by blow or word by word description of those passages you stated. Not every word preached is on record and any interaction is not noted either. I will continue to share interactively because that is my conviction and I will encourage others to dialogue also. I trust you will follow your convictions in this matter also. Thanks for the exchange Tim and all.

  24. “Unfortunately the bible does not give us blow by blow or word by word description of those passages you stated.”

    ?- But- it’s written down- I’ve seen it… ?

  25. Tim, I know you see what was written, but do you think that everything that was said and done in the New Testament was written down in it’s entirety?

  26. No- only that which God intended for us to have, and that’s the point- we can’t use our own desires, assumptions, or conjecture to add to the Word, or to try to fill in the blanks. That’s one of the reasons why Paul warned the Corinthians to not “go beyond what was written”.

  27. Tim, The Traditional ” church” goes beyond what is written all the time. They say the church is a building, they say there are “offices” that need to be filled, and put a single Pastor as the head of the church.

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