Jesus said, “Come to me, for my yoke is easy and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves.”
This saying may be so familiar to us from the New Testament Gospels that we can barely see it with fresh eyes here in the Gospel of Thomas. But, let’s do our best to approach it through the lens of Oneness and the contrasts of the old versus the new ways of understanding reality as it truly is.
We may not notice at first glance the radical differences between the concept of taking on a yoke and finding rest, but that may be because most of us are not familiar with yokes or their association with hard labor. To wear a yoke is to be enslaved as a beast who pulls a plow through the hard earth, or who moves a heavy grindstone in an endless circle under the hot sun. Being yoked is to be worked hard by one who cracks a whip and demands relentless physical performance. Yet, Jesus suggests that his yoke is easy and his lordship is gentle. These are not the adjectives used to describe the experience of any person or animal under a yoke. At least, not in the minds of anyone in the First Century who was acquainted with the concept.