Take Jesus’ Yoke Or Become Satan’s Joke! (Red Letters Series #27)


Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Matthew 11:29 … Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me …

This past week events in Minneapolis took our minds – albeit temporarily – off of the Coronavirus. A handcuffed black man named George Floyd was killed while in police custody. As several bystanders recorded the incident on their phones, a police officer knelt down on the neck of a handcuffed man. As Mr. Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breath the officers – I’m told there were four – joked about it. As I watched the video the officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck was totally unconcerned that he was being videoed, and no where was there any compassion shown. I would not have treated a dog that way. Mr. Floyd died as he was slowly strangled to death, as he cried out for mercy. His last words were “I can’t breath”. The officers were fired. This past Thursday Al Sharpton held what he claimed was a “prayer vigil” at the site where George Floyd died. I heard no praying, but did hear Mr. Sharpton stirring up the crowd. Several years ago Dr. Martin Luther King – a Pastor I highly respect – led civil rights marches to bring about change in America. This was change that needed to happen. Reverend King frowned on riots and destructive behavior.

Following Al Sharpton’s remarks Minnesota was set on fire. Businesses were destroyed, many after being looted by protesters. The Minneapolis Police Station, 3rd Precinct, was overrun by looters and rioters. The Minnesota National Guard deployed 500 soldiers to Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and the surrounding areas to “protect life, preserve property, and the right to peacefully demonstrate”.

The St. Paul Police Department said more than 170 businesses were looted or damaged Thursday, and dozens of fires were set.

Violence begets violence. The darkness can never be defeated by more darkness.

When Jesus was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane the Bible says: “Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the High Priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear” (John 18:10-11). Jesus told Peter: Put your sword back into it’s sheath. All those who take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matthew 26:52). Jesus orders His Children by faith in Him to follow the path of non-violence, inasmuch as is possible. Violence begets violence. Reverend King said:

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…”

I Must “Take Jesus’ Yoke Upon Me” To Be Saved

Our message today is part of our “Red Letters” series, and the Lord gave me this title: “Take Jesus’ Yoke Or Become The Devil’s Joke”. There are many who believe that you can be saved by walking and aisle and being baptized, yet continue to live as you lived before you were saved. This is patently untrue.

God has delivered us from the power of DARKNESS, and has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13)

Jesus illustrated the entry into the Christian Way of Life as a new birth, or being born again. Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Pharisees, a member of the ruling Council of Israel:

John 3:3 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

When you and I were first born into this world – and everyone breathing in this room today was born the same way – we came forth from our mother’s. The Bible teaches that we are all born the first time physically alive but spiritually dead. God told Adam “the day you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Adam and Eve became spiritually dead that day. The Bible says that “by one man sin entered the world, AND DEATH BY SIN; and SO DEATH PASSED UPON ALL men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). This is why Jesus Christ came to this earth. Born of a Virgin according to prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) God would be with us in Christ Jesus. The Bible says that the Christian …

Ephesians 2:1-3 {has been made spiritually alive} who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our {way of life} in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The unbeliever who has not been born again is “yoked” or bound to sin and bound to the ways of Satan. We did not – before we met Christ – live our lives for the glory of God but for the satisfaction of ourselves. We were “yoked” to sin and Satan. We were “yoked” to spiritual death and darkness.

Everyone is yoked.
You are either yoked to Jesus, or yoked to darkness.

Romans 6:16 … Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

What you DO shows who your master IS. You can claim to be Christ’s. But if you claim to be Christ’s then you “walk in the light as Christ is in the light”.
(1 John 1:7).

A “yoke” binds us to the world, to Satan, or to Jesus. Jesus Christ came to this earth preaching that He is Lord, the Bringer of the Kingdom of God. A “yoke” is placed on a beast to control that beast, to give control to the one on the other end of the “yoke”. Jesus calls on us to willingly:

Matthew 11:29 … Take my yoke upon you

Jesus says “take the yoke upon you”. This is a willingly decision to bind yourselves under the hand of Christ. Salvation does not come upon us if we fail to understand this. What does the Scripture say?

Romans 10:9 … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Jesus Christ is LORD to those He saves. We come to Him and lay our lives down, heeding Him and Him alone. He is Lord. We are saved by Grace, a free gift given to us when we allow Jesus to yoke us.

1 Corinthians 1:3 … Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the LORD Jesus Christ.

We are yoked to Christ Alone to Be Saved!

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father …

All things” are delivered unto Jesus. I heard talk show host Oprah Winfrey make the statement:

There couldn’t possibly be just one way {to God}. .. “One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing that there is only one way to live … there are many paths to what you call God.”

This is not what Jesus said. Jesus was quite emphatic when He said:

John 14:6 …. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus does not say “take many yokes” but “take MY yoke upon you”. The early Church understood this great truth. The Apostle Peter preached:

Acts 2:38 … Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 4:11-12 {Jesus Christ} This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Jesus said ALL THINGS are DELIVERED TO ME. Not some things, but ALL THINGS. Dr. J.C. Ryle wrote in his Expository Thoughts On The Gospel of Matthew:

All things have been handed over to {Jesus}. He bears the keys – to Him we must go for admission into Heaven. He is the Door – through Him we must enter. He is the Shepherd – we must hear His voice and follow Him if we do not want to perish in the wilderness. He is the Great Physician – we must apply to Him if we would be healed of the plague of sin. He is the Bread of Life – we must feed on Him if we would have our souls satisfied. He is the Light – we must walk after Him if we do not want to wander in darkness. He is the Fountain – we must wash in His Blood if we would be cleansed and made ready for the great day of account. Blessed and glorious are these truths! If we have Christ, we have ALL THINGS:

1 Corinthians 3:21-22 “all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

I was saved by taking Christ’s yoke upon me. This is a yoke that the worldly do not want.

This world wants to yoke GOD! And that’s a joke!

Matthew 11:16-19 … But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

When Jesus Christ came the worldly wanted Him to please them. “We have piped (played music) for You, Jesus, but You refused to dance to our tune”. Many people regard Jesus this way. They consider Jesus to be a Cosmic Waiter Who exists just to please themselves. “We cried, Jesus, why aren’t You crying with us?” The world and the worldly believe that WE put our yoke on the Son of God, that JESUS exists to please US. When Jesus would not “go with the flow” and continued to “rock the boat” the world and the worldly said Jesus eats and drinks with sinners. He is just a glutton, a drunkard”. But Jesus says:

Wisdom is justified of her children

Jesus would have never knelt on the neck of a black man. Jesus never degraded or devalued people like they were furniture! When Jesus ate and drank with those who were less than, offering them the Gospel through faith in Himself, these people found results. Broken lives were mended. Shattered dreams were healed. The wisdom of this world makes God out to be our Waiter, and through our prayers we put a yoke on Him. Yet this worldly wisdom never brings the peace and contentment that being under Christ’s yoke brings. God’s wisdom is proven true by the results. Those who give their lives to Jesus, willingly yoking themselves to Him as Savior and Lord, these people are blessed, these people are at rest, these people are at peace with God. The wisdom of this world says “put ME first and ALL OTHERS last”. The Apostle says:

1 Corinthians 1:18-21 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The kneeling policeman is a picture of a “me first” world, a destructive world. The wisdom of this world says “Me first, all others last”. The wisdom of God is “take Christ’s yoke upon you. Willingly let Him have all of your life.” Then kneel – not on others as furniture, but to serve and love others. This is the way of Christ.

If Jesus Is My Savior I Daily Take HIS Yoke On Me

Pastor Peter Marshall, former chaplain to the US Senate, prayed, “Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand, and what to stand for.”God has given us a clear vision in Jesus Christ.

Where do I stand? If His yoke is on me, I stand before Him, ready to follow His direction. What do I stand for? If Christ’s yoke is on me, I stand where Jesus tells me to stand, and follow His direction in all things. The Lord calls us to have the faith of a child. Jesus said:

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

We are told in another place:

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

The wisdom of the world says “make all things about you”. But the wisdom of God says, “Make all things about Christ Jesus”. Jesus tells us to “become like little children”. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 1:23-31 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

The message of Christ is that we are to come to Him and Him alone, and willingly submit ourselves to Him. We place His yoke upon ourselves. Doing this, we are often mocked by the world. Yet salvation is found in repenting of our own goodness, and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Every day we are offered a choice: will we follow the world, or will we follow Christ? If we follow the world we will not be blessed nor a blessing.

What if I do not follow Jesus? Expect destruction to come on America – a destruction WE bring on OURSELVES!

Matthew 11:20-22 Then began {Jesus} to {defame or reproach {ὀνειδίζω oneidízō, pronounced on-i-did’-zo}} the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! {New York} woe unto thee, Bethsaida {Minnesota}! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

Jesus speaks of four cities in this passage we are not acquainted with: Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre and Sidon. Jesus preached His Gospel and demonstrated His Authenticity as Messiah in the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. Jesus said, “If I had done these same works in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago”. Both Tyre and Sidon were destroyed according to Biblical prophecy. Tyre rejoiced at the fall of Jerusalem, so God pronounced judgment on that city in Ezekiel 16:2; 26:3. Tyre was destroyed of many nations, and most of it was scattered into the sea. Sidon was also destroyed by a series of lost battles. Jesus promised Chorazin and Bethsaida that “It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.” As they were destroyed, so will the cities that rejects the light of God’s Gospel. What if we were to substitute American cities in the places Jesus cursed? Jesus was preached in the Synagogues of Chorazin and Bethsaida, just as He was preached in the local Churches of New York and Minnesota, and yet few would hear Him. Jesus promised these cities that – because they rejected the light of the Gospel – they would cease to exist. They would be destroyed for their unbelief, a punishment they brought on themselves. Will God not do the same for America? Will we not bring destruction on ourselves if we do not repent? Jesus went on …

Matthew 11:23-24 And thou, Capernaum {Tennessee}, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Jesus also taught quite frequently in the Synagogue at Capernaum, just as He has been preached in local Churches throughout our great state of Tennessee. He tells us that – when judgment came – “it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you”. Sodom was destroyed in Genesis 19 for sexual sin. So great was it’s destruction that Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).

We must get back to the Bible. We must bend the knee not to kneel on one another, but to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We must serve Him by loving others. If not, we will be part of the flame that destroys America!

The farther a city or a community wanders away from God, the darker things become. I do not believe that the Coronavirus Pandemic is a mere coincidence. I believe that – though it may or may not have originated with God – that it came with the oversight and permission of God. I believe that the Scripture teaches that nothing – absolutely nothing – occurs without purpose and without the oversight of God. The Bible says that there is no such thing as “luck”, but:

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil {רַע raʻ, pronounced rah = distress} in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?

Lamentations 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

God is in control. God allows things for His purposes, and is in absolute control of the outcome. He is God! When a people wander away from His design, and reject His commandment, then in time destruction comes on that city, on that country.

If we wish America to continue to stand, then we who are saved by faith in Christ must take His yoke upon us. We must live the way that He has called us to live.

Christ’s Yoke Is Love – And Is CROSS Shaped

Matthew 11:29 … Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me

As Jesus is, so must we who are His be. No one would put a yoke on a dead ox. The yoke is placed on the beast so that the Master may guide it to accomplish His purpose. We take upon ourselves Christ’s yoke. We follow Him.

  • Christ’s yoke must be in the marriage. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves His Church, and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are to love their husbands as the Church loves Christ (Ephesians 5:24). We are saved by the love of Christ. We love as Christ loves.
  • Christ’s yoke must be in our neighborhoods. The yoke of love extends to everyone. It extends to our neighbors, to those closest to us whether we know them or not.

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.

Matthew 22:39 … Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Love of others is the yoke that binds the Christian. Love is the fulfillment of the Law:

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

James 2:8 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:

  • Christ’s yoke must be to our enemies. We must not let self righteousness grip us. Pray for the officers who did evil. Pray for the man who knelt on that poor man’s neck. We as believers are even to love our enemies. This is what our Lord Jesus did, and what we ourselves must do.

Matthew 5:44-45 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Love treats others the way that you want to be loved. We must do this. We must love God our Father “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37). And we must love one another.

  • Christ’s yoke must be on display for all to see. What if, when the errant policeman was kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck, what if a Christian, regardless of color, had stepped forward? What if that Christian had said, “I beg you in the name of Jesus Christ to take your knee from his neck. I mean no disrespect, but I beg you – he is made in God’s image just as are you.” What would have happened had this occurred? No one will ever know. People filmed the incident, relied on the flesh, and watched as a man strangled to death. The errant policemen were approached in the power of the flesh, not under the yoke of Christ.

We need God’s people to be God’s people. God’s people are not identified by a denominational label. They are identified by the yoke of love.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

If we want America to survive, the Light of Christ must go forward. It will not go forward if it does not go forward through us, His Yoked people. May God the Holy Spirit touch your hearts with the Words of our savior. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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