His Yoke

Today we’re going to be talking about the Bible’s mention of a farming implement. Jesus tells us what it means to take up his yoke in Matthew 11:28-30.

Play or download this episode of the Take Note Podcast using the player, or read its transcript below.

“His Yoke”

Matthew 11:28-30

  • Today we’re going to be talking about the Bible’s mention of a farming implement
  • Something that was often “fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough”
  • It’s a tool not many of us would have experience with
  • “In the New Testament…” the word is “used to denote servitude”
  • We’ll read three verses today and hear this word twice
  • His “yoke” our theme today, from Matthew 11
  • When Jesus describes taking His yoke upon you, He could mean a number of things
  • Certainly He means having faith and trust in Him
  • And having a commitment to following Him
  • Obeying His commands
  • Entering into a relationship (and a daily fellowship) with Him
  • Loving Him
  • And using our lives to reflect Him properly – to glorify Him
  • You could put all of this into the category of becoming His disciple
  • But these three verses don’t simply read like a command to follow
  • They are more of an invitation
  • One that gives great comfort and hope and relief
  • Particularly to those of who have – by faith – experienced the rest He provides
  • Let’s begin in verse 28 of Matthew 11, when Jesus says…

Matthew 11:28

28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

  • Life is labour
  • So every one of us can understand this invitation
  • The burdens that we carry could be countless in number
  • But for every man the chief burden is sin
  • It is the weight that eventually kills us, destroys us
  • And all our lives it weighs us down
  • So, Jesus says, if you’re labouring with life, weighed down by sin
  • He and (we find in many other passages) He alone
  • Can give rest
  • Now He is talking to a big audience – every one of us (to be precise)
  • And whether we feel at this moment that we are bearing a weight or not, the Bible says we are!
  • Because it says in Romans 3…

“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

  • As sinners by birth and by choice, we have a penalty weighing on us
  • Stated this way in Romans 6…

“For the wages of sin is death”

  • Thankfully, verse 23 goes on…

“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

  • That sounds like rest, to me
  • Eternal rest
  • Jesus goes on to say…

Matthew 11:29

29  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. 

  • To learn is to increase in one’s knowledge
  • It is to hear and to be informed
  • And it can mean to learn by practice
  • By experience
  • And what we find when we learn of Him is that He is all-powerful, but gentle
  • He is One that humbled Himself and came to die in our place on the cross
  • He full of grace and truth
  • Abundant in mercy and longsuffering
  • We find these things about Him (and many more) in His word
  • As He said in John 5:39…

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

  • It certainly must be everyone’s desire to have “rest” unto their “souls”
  • But He reminds us of the yoke we must bear at the beginning of the verse
  • For coming to Him means submission
  • It means service to Him
  • It means forsaking all to follow
  • As Jesus said in Luke 14:33…

“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

  • But those who will, those who do, have a promise
  • It is not only the promise of eternal life
  • Not only the certainty of no regret
  • But also His promise here…

Matthew 11:30

30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

  • How can it be that absolute surrender to Him and to His service can be burden-less?
  • There are some theological realities that we need to remember…
  1. He sends a Comforter to dwell within us

John 14: 16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”

  1. He gives us power to do everything He asks

II Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”

  1. He walks with us every step of the way

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

  1. And He is preparing an eternal place for us

John 14:2-3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

  • Jesus says…

“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.”

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