Read Matthew 11.29-30. Why does Jesus command us to take His yoke right after He has invited us to give Him our burdens and find true rest?
After the first imperative “come” in Matthew 11.28-29.
“Take” and “learn” focus the attention of the audience (and the reader) on Jesus. We are to take His yoke and learn from Him.
The intimate relationship in the Godhead between the Father and the Son (already intimated in Matthew 11:25-27) offers a powerful illustration that may explain the yoke metaphor in these verses. Both the Father and the Son are working unitedly to save humanity. While the yoke is a symbol of submission (see Jeremiah 27), it is also a metaphor illustrating united purpose. We submit to His yoke and accept the task He gives us to bless those around us. We are not carrying His yoke; we are just yoked to Him because His yoke “is easy” and His burden “is light” (Matthew 11:30).
The second imperative “learn from Me” reiterates this concept. In Greek the verb “learn” is connected to the term “disciple.” When we learn from Jesus, we are truly His disciples. Obedience and commitment are characteristics of discipleship.
What is the difference between being “heavy laden” ( Matthew 11.28-29)?
The yoke was a common metaphor in Judaism for the law. Acts 15:10 uses it in reference to the law of circumcision. Galatians 5:1 contrasts the liberty Jesus offers with the yoke of bondage, which is a reference to the law as a means of salvation. Being yoked to Jesus emphasizes obedience and commitment to follow in His footsteps and to participate in His mission. While we cannot hope to add anything to the salvation that Jesus won for us on the cross, we can become His ambassadors and share the good news with those around us. Jesus’ interpretation of the law, as demonstrated in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is even more radical than the Pharisees’ take on it. It requires heart surgery and transforms our motives — and, His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
|What a wonderful promise! Rest for your souls. How have you experienced that rest? What is it like? By focusing on Jesus and on what He offers us, how can we begin to know that rest?|