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.
The Lord Jesus has just invited all who “labour and are heavy laden” to come to Him so that He may bless them with rest. But now He tells them to “take my yoke”. A “yoke” is a wooden bar that is fastened over the neck of an animal and attached to the plough or a cart with heavy stuff that it ought to pull. It is often used to symbolise submission to authority of some kind. How would a yoke placed on the neck of those who are already “heavy laden” grant them rest?
Jesus immediately explained what he meant by “Take my yoke upon you”. He said, “learn of me”. It was a familiar Jewish saying that a pupil “took the yoke of the teacher” when he submitted himself to a teacher. The Jews of old would talk about the yoke of the law, the yoke of God, etc. It was a similar thought, namely the yoke of instruction, that Jesus wanted them to grasp. So He said to them, “learn of me”. In other words, Jesus wanted all those who come to Him for the rest that He has promised, to submit to His teaching. It is a “yoke” that implies obedience.
When we turn to Christ to receive salvation and rest from sins’ weariness and desperation, there must be a willingness to have Him take control of our lives. We must come to Jesus not only as our Saviour, but also as our Lord. The exhortation “learn of me” was basically a call to discipleship.
Everyone who genuinely comes to Christ must be willing and ready to be a disciple and, therefore, a learner and follower of Christ. To be a follower of Christ is to be committed to learn from Him. Christ is not a taskmaster like the Pharisees and rabbis of that time. Jesus assured all who would come to Him, saying, “I am meek and lowly in heart”. He is gentle and humble in heart. In Him, there is no unreasonable sternness or ruthless demands. He is willing to receive the poorest sinner. He is also ever ready to instruct and guide even the most ignorant.
None who sincerely comes to Christ shall be disappointed. He affirms, “ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The Lord Jesus leaves no room for doubt concerning the certainty of spiritual rest that He has promised to all those who learn of Him. Without Christ, our lives would be marred with futile labour, heavy loads and hopelessness. So, let us hurry to Christ and hesitate no more. Follow His voice and learn of His gracious words.