Take My Yoke on You
Matthew 11:28-30 APNT
Come to me, all of you [who] labor and bear burdens and I will refresh you.
29 Bear my yoke on you and learn from me that I am restful and I am meek in my heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is pleasant and my burden is light."
Labor (grow weary).....Refresh, cause you to rest
Bear burdens (heavy-laden)......Light burden of his yoke
Play on words with REST: I will rest you, I am restful, you will find rest
Heb nuwach, Aramaic nakh (English word night, German nacht) – can be translated relief, rest, silence, ease
This is a “fence” word – rest happens when we go inside the fence.
1st x used: Genesis 8:4 when ark “rested” on mountains of Ararat. – settled in a particular place
NAKH – action of verb is “to stop something.” Like a storm
When it is used regarding a ship or a burden, it means to “unload.”
Hebrews 3 and 4 has 8 uses of noun and 3 uses of verb so if we want to learn about rest, study those chapters. Uses Israel as the example of having hardness of heart in the wilderness. The opposite of hardness of heart is meekness. Jesus said learn from me that I am meek. Big key!
Hebrews 4:8-11 APNT
For if Joshua, the son of Nun, had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterwards about another day.
9 Therefore, it is established for the people of God to be given a rest.
10 For he who enters into his rest has also rested (ceased – NAKH) from his works, as God [rested] from his.
11 Therefore, we should be diligent to enter into that rest, so that we will not fall in the likeness of those who were not persuaded.
Labor to enter into rest! Means to be diligent (come to me and learn)
Unload our own works – includes unloading discouragement, weariness
(another word in Ar for rest means to be silent, stop speaking)
Now what about the yoke?
In the first century, there were two types of rabbis, the regular teachers in the synagogue in the local communities and rabbis who traveled and gathered disciples so that they could teach them their understanding of the law. The yoke was this interpretation of the Torah.
Jesus’ yoke of the law versus scribes and Pharisees was light. For example in Matthew 22:34-40 question of what he thought was the most important commandment.
And Jesus said to him, "YOU SHOULD LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. (Deut 6:5)
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And the second is like it: YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. (Lev 19:18)
KJV Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
"If you keep these two commandments, the rest of the law is just commentary."
My yoke is easy – one that is easy to understand and that will bring you rest.
To be a disciple of a rabbi, you gave up everything to follow him and to learn from him. Then the idea was to become like him in every way, do the things he did and teach the same way. Follow me….This was to bear my yoke or take my yoke on you.
What is the application to us today?
Unload the burdens, get settled as a disciple, be meek, and walk in his footsteps.
1 John 2:6 ESV
whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Walk in his footsteps – his walkings. YOU WILL FIND REST