It is has been said that the three most expensive letters in the English alphabet are DIY (Do it yourself). If you are not a skilled carpenter and if you have ever tried to do home remodeling, you know how frustratingly true this statement is. On the other hand, finding a competent carpenter for small, or large, household jobs is not an easy task either.
If you live in a small rural farming community, a reliable skilled tradesman is essential to keep your equipment in working order so that you neither starve nor go broke. With that in mind, It is no accident that Jesus Christ, as a man living in the small farming community of Nazareth, was trained and skilled in the carpenter’s trade.
It was a lowly but essential occupation carried out in the lowly city of Nazareth. He would have made many yokes for the lowly oxen of a lowly people. This simple reality teaches us much about God’s humble grace. His great desire has always been to live among and serve mankind.
At His birth, the wise men from the east travelled far to bear witness that Jesus Christ was born the King of Israel and yet He came to be known as the carpenter’s son. In fact, when He first began to teach publicly, His credibility was questioned when He was identified as the mere son of a carpenter.
In the Bible we are taught that all of creation was made by Him and for Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Colossians 1:16, John 1:3) When we look at the wonderful intricacies of creation, It is not hard to believe that His carpentry work as a man was the best that could be found anywhere.
Without properly fitting yokes, the oxen would chafe under the burden of plowing, sowing, harvesting and hauling grain for the sustenance of God’s people. If the yoke was poorly fitting and the carts were poorly made, the people would not be able to provide enough food for themselves and they could starve. So, even in His earthly occupation, Jesus’ work was essential for life.
However, the Bible teaches us that it wasn’t His life that saves the soul, but it is His death and resurrection from among the dead that provides the means to save our souls. Not only so, but His resurrection proves to us that He is God’s anointed one through whom space, matter and time were created.
The Yoke Is On Us…
When Adam and Eve were created, they were given the specific burden to care for God’s creation. Yet they made a choice to listen to the creature instead of their creator. As a result, that burden shifted from one of dominion over the earth to one of being dominated by it.
What this means for us now is that we are subject to many burdens that God never intended for us to carry. We toil unproductively under a burden of death and dying. We are weighed down by fears of war, disease and poverty. We are dogged by a burden of fear for the safety and welfare of both body and soul for our loved ones.
Under these fearful burdens, we live our lives trying to find suitable yokes to carry them. We find ourselves chafing under the ill fitting yoke of religion, thinking that we can find a way to please God and earn His favor. Tiring of this interminable burden, we throw off that nauseating yoke and find another. This one entices us to pull a party cart only to find ourselves exhausted and calloused under its weight. One after another yoke is tried and found to leave us more depleted and calloused than before by the futility of life.
One of the dangers of an ill fitting yoke is that the continual pressure on calloused skin will destroy the tissue underneath it. This causes extremely painful boils and can lead to a fatal infection of the blood, making it impossible to bear any burdens at all.
In time, these hidden wounds may burst open to release a putrid discharge and odor of decaying flesh. This depletes our strength and isolates us even more. Rather than being a burden bearer, we become bitter, unproductive burdens to ourselves and to others. In our despair, we look for terminating solutions to our pain and discouragement.
This process of internal rot all begins with poorly fitted yokes. These cause us to become numb and insensitive to the burden of our sin as our conscience becomes seared. Under this oppressive guilt, we look for relief. Some seek distractions in endless activity, some seek it in obsessions of various kinds including drugs and alcohol, some unsuccessfully seek relief in suicide.
It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear of anyone, but especially young people already so burdened by life that they are convinced it is better to die than to live.
The constant pressure and the chafing of unsatisfying pleasures in life produce a slow death within our souls. Our minds become poisoned and bitter leading to a venomous and putrid discharge. Our tongues and our hands become portals of death and demonic dominion. The oppressive guilt crushes us unrelentingly…all because we haven’t found a competent carpenter to fit us with a proper yoke for our burdened souls.
They say that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. So, I imagine that if you wanted quality carpentry work done in the area around Nazareth, the word on the street would be to go to ‘Joseph and Son Carpentry’. They could advertise:
“Our yoke is easy and our burden is light”
When Jesus made His offer of the Kingdom to the burden souls of Israel, He completed the offer, saying:
“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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.”
[Mat 11:28-29 KJV]
The Heavy Cost of DIY
So the message here for you is to learn how costly the letters DIY are to your eternal soul. The simple message to each of us from our Creator is that when it comes to both our temporal and eternal existence, we cannot do it ourselves, we need a complete solution, we need a complete Savior.
There is only one whose completed work lives up to His advertisement. There are overwhelming forces of darkness that war against our souls. The evil all around us is unimaginable for most of us. There is only one who can plumb the full depths of evil in this world and walk out victorious. We simply will not survive in this world or in eternity apart from the finished work of Jesus Christ.
If you are overwhelmed by a burden of guilt and have never even considered Christ, His service is available 24/7 and His lines are always open…
“Call unto me, and I will answer you, and shew you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
[Jeremiah 33:3 KJV]
I recently hired a competent handyman to help me to build a deck on my house. It was a delightful experience to work with him and learn things that I would have had to learn the hard way if I had tried to do it all myself.
In a similar way, the wonderful thing about the yoke that Jesus makes for each of us is that it not only fits us well, but that it is made for two.
“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.”
[Mat 11:29 KJV]
This means that He shoulders the burden Himself when we commit ourselves to walk with Him and learn from Him. In the matter of our salvation, we have nothing to add to His finished work, we have only to trust Him with our souls. But, in matters of living on this earth, what we learn from Him will keep us from making costly mistakes.
That sounds like a great working relationship to me!
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