Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' (Matthew 11:29-30).
The modern mind may be puzzled when a religious guru invites people to come under a yoke. First, most of us living in the age of cars, planes and metros, may not have even a yoke. Those of us who might have seen one know that it is something that joins either a pair of burden-carrying animals to each other to pull a cart. So, we usually attach ideas like subjugation and suffering to this symbol.
However, that is not what Jesus meant or his hearers might have understood.
For the pious Jews who were Jesus' audience that day yoke carried meanings more than subjugation. In their religious writings 'coming under the yoke' was a metaphor for being obedient to someone, especially the Law of Moses which guided the life and faith every Jew.
When someone invites us to be yoked with them it is an offer to share the burdens to make our life easier than before.
Jesus's offer is to learn a new way of living that he has to show. That is why he expanded the invitation to 'learn from me.' This is a call to discipleship, following Christ by living the way he lives.
He also assures that he is a teacher who is gentle with us. He is not a teacher who will make the life of the disciples burdened with the demands of the curriculum. But he is more like a father who teaches his baby to walk, by walking gently by the child's side, watching each step and being there ready to pick up the baby if she stumbles.
He will not give his disciples a load that they cannot carry so that they are crushed under its weight. There are no rituals and rules that we have to follow. Just respond to his voice to follow him and respond to it. Then the rest is upon him. He will guide us. We don't have to worry that all the rituals are done in the proper time and the proper way to the satisfaction a religious system or the demands of a deity. Jesus guides us, if we accept his call to be yoked with him in an eternal relationship. That relationship with Jesus will bring comfort and joy into our troubled lives.