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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Matthew 11:29

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Take my yoke upon you - Strange paradox! that a man already weary and overloaded must take a new weight upon him, in order to be eased and find rest! But this advice is similar to that saying, Psalm 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee; i.e. trust thy soul and concerns to him, and he will carry both thyself and thy load.

I am meek and lowly in heart - Wherever pride and anger dwell, there is nothing but mental labor and agony; but, where the meekness and humility of Christ dwell, all is smooth, even, peaceable, and quiet; for the work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/matthew-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Take my yoke - This is a figure taken from the use of oxen, and hence signifying to labor for one, or in the service of anyone. The “yoke” is used in the Bible as an emblem:

(1)of bondage or slavery, Leviticus 26:13; Deuteronomy 28:38.

(2)of afflictions or crosses, Lamentations 3:27.

(3)of the punishment of sin, Lamentations 1:14,

(4)of the commandments of God.

(5)of legal ceremonies, Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1.

It refers here to the religion of the Redeemer; and the idea is, that they should embrace his system of religion and obey him. All virtue and all religion imply “restraint” - the restraint of our bad passions and inclinations - and subjection to laws; and the Saviour here means to say that the restraints and laws of his religion are mild, and gentle, and easy. Let anyone compare them with the burdensome and expensive ceremonies of the Jews (see Acts 15:10), or with the religious rites of the pagan everywhere, or with the requirements of the Popish system, and he will see how true it is that Jesus‘ yoke is easy. And let his laws and requirements be compared with the laws which sin imposes on its votaries - the laws of fashion, and honor, and sensuality - and he will feel that religion is “freedom,” John 8:36. “He is a freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides.” It is “easier” to be a Christian than a sinner; and of all the yokes ever imposed on people, that of the Redeemer is the lightest.

For I am meek … - See the notes at Matthew 5:5. This was eminently Christ‘s personal character. But this is not its meaning here. He is giving a reason why they should embrace his religion. That was, that he was not harsh, overbearing, and oppressive, like the Pharisees, but meek, mild, and gentle in his government. His laws were reasonable and tender, and it would be easy to obey him.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-11.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Matthew 11:29

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me.

The school of Christ

I. There must be docility, obedience, willingness to learn of that Teacher.

II. The school is in the recesses of the soul-it is everywhere.

III. Branches of instruction.

1. Humility.

2. Patience.

3. Fortitude.

4. Love. (H. W. Beecher.)

Christen effective Teacher

I. Christ’s fitness to be man’s Teacher.

1. He understands man’s nature.

2. He understands all those things which man has need to know.

3. He understands perfectly the art of imparting knowledge.

II. The methods by which He teaches man.

1. By His words, works, character, as made known in the Bible.

2. By the truths He now imparts to the human heart through the Holy Spirit.

III. The effect of Christ’s teachings-“Rest.”

1. This instruction leads to the pardon of sin.

2. To the assurance that we are reconciled to God.

3. To the removal of all fear of evil.

Observe-

1. The evidence that we are learning of Christ is that we are becoming like Him.

2. All should submit to be taught by Christ. (American Homiletic Review.)

Unspoken teaching

We are taught, and we teach, by something about us that never goes into language at all. (Bishop Huntingdon.)

The advantages of humility

I. Whence we are directed to learn it. We are to learn it from Christ, because it is a grace so peculiarly Christian, that no other institution will furnish us with it. All ancient schemes of morality are chargeable with this defect. They are advanced rather as arguments for men of learning to dispute than as directions of life to be reduced to practice; humility left out of them. And though some have declaimed with great zeal on the contempt of glory, yet we find these men to have declined the applause with greater vanity than others pursued it. The Jews were rendered proud by their privileges. Christianity first taught the true doctrine of humility; Christ its pattern. His circumstances, disciples, are all of lowly character.

II. Recommend from the encouragement here given, that it will bring rest to our souls. Tranquillity of mind is the spring of our present felicity; without it all acquisitions are insipid. When we remember the miseries which arise from resentment of real or fancied injuries, humility recommends itself to us as a support and protection. The humble will keep, without inconsistency, within the bounds of justice and sobriety, neither impatient in prospect nor fretted in the event. Before honour is humility. Humility softens the terrors of death. If we are His disciples, let the humility of the Master correct the pride of His servants. How much our own happiness depends on this disposition. (J. Rogers, D. D.)

Our Saviour’s humility

I. Humility towards God the Father was exhibited in several ways. In not exceeding the bounds of His commission; in obedience and forbearance; He did not employ His illuminating Spirit in the task of refuting error. Humble in the manifestation of His power. How has His humility been imitated by us? True we have no supernatural gifts to exert with humility; but those we have do we so use?

II. Humility is exhibited in His intercourse with mankind. Look at the choice He made of disciples. He told the centurion he would go to his house. Let us not suppose that His humility was allied to weakness or timidity. It was a humility manfully arrayed against vice and pride. It did not stoop nor waver. It did not flatter. It was associated with courage. We need this humility, just estimate of self; only to respect what is true and good, not mere outward show. (F. W. P. Greenwood, D. D.)

The meek and lowly

One:-

I. The first quality which jesus claims.

1. Meek as opposed to ferocity of spirit manifested by the zealots and bigots.

2. There is a sternness which cannot be condemned.

3. It is meek in heart.

II. Lowliness of heart.

1. He is willing to receive the poorest sinner.

2. This lowliness leads Him to receive the most ignorant. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. It is something for the Christian to enjoy-”Rest.”

1. Rest from legal servitude.

2. From wrathful apprehensions.

3. From carnal pursuits.

4. From earthly anxiety.

5. From terrific forebodings.

II. Something to bear-“Yoke.”

1. Subjection to the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

2. Resignation to the will of Christ.

Why called a yoke?

1. Because it opposes our corrupt nature.

2. Because it opposes the maxims of the world.

3. Because it is repugnant to the schemes of men.

III. Something which the Christian is to be taught-“Learn of Me.”

1. Meekness.

2. Humility.

Christ teaches:

1. By His Spirit.

2. By His Word.

3. By His example. (The Pulpit.)

The three exchanges

I. The exchange of yokes.

II. The exchange of burdens.

III. The exchange of teaching. (H. Bonar.)

The yoke of Christ

Our Lord speaks of His service as a yoke or burden, because it is so esteemed by all who know Him not.

I. What is meant by the yoke of Christ? It includes-

II. The appointed means by which sinners are enabled to bear this threefold yoke-”Learn of Me.”

1. Are you terrified with the difficulties attending your profession? Learn of Jesus (Hebrews 12:3).

2. Do you find it hard to walk stedfastly in His precepts? Learn of Jesus (Romans 15:3).

3. Are you tempted to repine at the dispensations of Divine Providence? Take Jesus for your pattern (John 18:11).

III. The happy effect of bearing this yoke. Rest, to the soul. This affords the best and most unshaken evidence that He has begun a good work of grace in our hearts. (John Newton.)

The double yoke

If the yoke for oxen is meant, it was a yoke for two: it passed across the shoulders of two animals, and they bore the yoke together, and so the yoke was easier and lighter for each. Jesus is bearing a yoke. His is a yoke for two. He would have us take the vacant place beside Him, and share with Him.

I. Christ’s yoke.

1. His Father’s will.

2. The work given Him to do.

3. All involved in His Sonship.

4. Seeking and saving the lost.

5. Redemption of the world from sin.

6. Winning the world’s heart for God.

II. Christ’s yoke shared by us. Illustrate how Paul shared it. We may share in

Conclusion:-There is no forced bearing of yokes with Christ, we must choose to come under it with Christ, (R. Tuck.)

Rest in submission

The text suggests a figure. Two oxen are yoked together at the plough. But they toil unwillingly. They fret and chafe themselves. They strive to force themselves free of the galling yoke. They are weary, oppressed with their slavery. Would it not be rest for those oxen if they would cheerfully submit; simply accept the toil before them; encourage their spirit quietly and bravely to suffer, and bear, and do; fret no more at the yoke, but take it, bear it, and in bearing it discover how light and easy and restful the very yoke can become? (R. Tuck.)

Humility

The great business of man is the regulation of his spirit. Rest is only found in ourselves in a meek and lowly disposition of heart.

I. Much of trouble comes from dispositions opposite to humility.

II. Humility is the best security against heart-aches.

III. Christian humility is opposed to that spiritual pride which is the worst of all prides. (Sterne.)

Man’s unrest

There are three causes in men producing unrest:

I. Suspicion of God.

II. Inward discord.

III. Dissatisfaction with outward circumstances. For all these meekness is the cure. (F. W. Robertson.)

The yoke lined

The yoke of Christ will be more easy than we think of, especially when it is lined with grace. (T. Manton.)

We well remember an old man who carried pails with a yoke, and as he was infirm, and tender about the shoulders, his yoke was padded, and covered with white flannel where it touched him. But what a lining is “love”! A cross of iron, lined with love, would never gall the neck, much less will Christ’s wooden cross. Lined with Christ’s love to us! Covered with our love to Him! Truly the yoke is easy, and the burden is light. Whenever the shoulder becomes sore let us look to the lining. Keep the lining right, and the yoke will be no more a burden to us than wings are to a bird, or her wedding-ring is to a bride. O love divine, line my whole life, my cares, my griefs, my pains; and what more can I ask? (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Hard beginnings

Some beginners are discouraged in their first attempts at a godly life, and so give over through despondency, They should remember that the bullock is most unruly at the first yoking, and that the fire at first kindling casts forth most smoke. (T. Manton.)

Imitating Christ the highest art

In the great galleries of art that are the glory of London, Paris, Munich, Dresden, and Rome you may see the artists of the future. Young men toil there day after day, patiently copying the masterpieces of the painters who are world-renowned, learning thus to become painters themselves. Every line, every colour, every gradation of light and shade they put forth their utmost skill to imitate. They are not content that their picture should be something like the original; their ambition is to make their copy so exact that none but an experienced eye shall be able to tell which is the original and which is the copy. To-day, my friend, place yourself before the Lord Jesus; look on His character, so majestic in its righteousness, so tender and attractive in its love, and resolve to become like Him. Let not your ambition be lower than that with which the young artist sits down before some masterpiece of Raphael or Rubens, nor the patience with which you strive to accomplish it less. (R. A. Bertram.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Matthew 11:29". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/matthew-11.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Take my yoke upon you,.... The phrase is Rabbinical. The Jewish doctors often speakF1T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 4. 1. Bab. Beracot, fol. 61. 2. Zohar in Lev. fol. 46. 4. Caphtor, fol. 44. 2. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 2. 2. of עול מלכות שמים, "the yoke of the kingdom of heaven", and of persons taking it upon them; and which they exhort to, and express in much such language as hereF2Zohar in Num. fol. 51. 2. Caphtor, fol. 48. 2. ; קדישא קבילו עלייכו עול מלכותא, "take upon you the yoke of the holy kingdom", every day. They distinguish this from the yoke of the law, and sayF3Misn. Beracot, c. 2. sect. 2. T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 4. 2. .

"a man must first take upon him the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, and after that take upon him the "yoke" of the commandment.'

Their sense I take to be this, that a man must first make a profession of his faith in the God of Israel, and then live conformably to his law: agreeably to this, Christ exhorts such persons who come to him for rest and happiness, to profess their faith in him, to embrace the doctrines of the Gospel, to submit to his ordinances, and to walk according to those laws, commands, and orders, which he, as king of saints, has made, and requires obedience to: so those who come to him for life, and believe in him, as the Saviour of their souls, though they are not to trust in, and depend upon any duties performed by them; yet they are not to sit still, or lay aside the performance of good works, or live a licentious course of life, but are always to be doing the will and work of their Lord. And this he calls "his yoke", in distinction from the yoke of the law of Moses, and of the traditions of the elders.

And learn of me, for I am meek, and lowly in heart: respect seems to be had to Zechariah 9:9 where such characters as these are given of the Messiah. The meekness, humility, and lowliness of Christ appear in his assumption of human nature; in his subjection to his Father; in the whole of his deportment and conversation among men; in his submission to the ordinance of baptism; in the whole course of his obedience to God, and in his sufferings and death: and he is to be imitated herein, by all his followers, who may learn many excellent things from his example, as well as from his doctrine; and particularly, that whereas, though he was so great a person, yet condescended to perform every duty with readiness and cheerfulness, his disciples should not think it below them to conform to every ordinance of his, to every branch of his will; for he has set them an example, that they should tread in his steps, and walk even as he has walked. There never was such an instance of humility, and lowliness of mind, as Christ; nor is there any example so worthy of our imitation as his. The Jews have a sayingF4T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 30. 2. ,

"for ever let a man ענוותן כהילל, "be meek as Hillell", and let him not be wrathful as "Shammai":'

which two men were presidents of their universities about the times of Christ. But our Lord says, "learn of me", not of "Hillell", or any of your doctors,

and ye shall find rest unto your souls; referring to Jeremiah 6:16 and which shows the rest he speaks of in the preceding verse, to be not a corporal, but a spiritual one; and which is to be enjoyed "in", though not "for" the observance of Christ's commands; whose "ways are ways of pleasantness, and all" whose "paths are peace".


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/matthew-11.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Take my yoke upon you — the yoke of subjection to Jesus.

and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls — As Christ‘s willingness to empty Himself to the uttermost of His Father‘s requirements was the spring of ineffable repose to His own Spirit, so in the same track does He invite all to follow Him, with the assurance of the same experience.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/matthew-11.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

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.

[My yoke.] So The yoke of the law: The yoke of the precept: The yoke of the kingdom of heaven.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/matthew-11.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. He has first asked us to come, and made a gracious promise. He next shows us how to come. We are to come by taking {his} yoke upon us. Taking on the yoke is a symbol of submission. The two steps by which we come, and secure the promise of "rest unto our souls" are then 1. Submission to Christ. 2. Becoming his disciples.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/matthew-11.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Take my yoke upon you and learn of me (αρατε τον ζυγον μου επυμας και ματετε απεμουarate ton zugon mou eph'humas kai mathete ap'emou). The rabbis used yoke for school as many pupils find it now a yoke. The English word “school” is Greek for leisure (σχοληscholē). But Jesus offers refreshment (αναπαυσινanapausin) in his school and promises to make the burden light, for he is a meek and humble teacher. Humility was not a virtue among the ancients. It was ranked with servility. Jesus has made a virtue of this vice. He has glorified this attitude so that Paul urges it (Philemon 2:3), “in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself.” In portions of Europe today people place yokes on the shoulders to make the burden easier to carry. Jesus promises that we shall find the yoke kindly and the burden lightened by his help. “Easy” is a poor translation of χρηστοςchrēstos Moffatt puts it “kindly.” That is the meaning in the Septuagint for persons. We have no adjective that quite carries the notion of kind and good. The yoke of Christ is useful, good, and kindly. Cf. Song of Solomon 1:10.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/matthew-11.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Yoke ( ζυγόν )

“These words, as recorded by St. Matthew, the Evangelist of the Jews, must have sunk the deeper into the hearts of Christ's Jewish hearers, that they came in their own old, familiar form of speech, yet with such contrast of spirit. One of the most common figurative expressions of the time was that of the yoke for submission to an occupation or obligation. Very instructive for the understanding of the figure is this paraphrase of Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41. The section Deuteronomy 6:4-9 was said to precede Deuteronomy 11:13-21, so that we might take upon ourselves the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, and only after that the yoke of the commandments. The Saviour's words must have had a special significance to those who remembered this lesson; and they would now understand how, by coming to the Saviour, they would first take on them the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, and then that of the commandments, finding this yoke easy and the burden light” (Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus,” and “Jewish Social Life”)Meek ( πραΰ́ς )

See on Matthew 5:5.

Lowly ( ταπεινός )

The word has a history. In the classics it is used commonly in a bad and degrading sense, of meanness of condition, lowness of rank, and cringing abjectness and baseness of character. Still, even in classical Greek, this is not its universal usage. It is occasionally employed in a way which foreshadows its higher sense. Plato, for instance, says, “To that law (of God) he would be happy who holds fast, and follows it in all humility and order; but he who is lifted up with pride, or money, or honor, or beauty, who has a soul hot with folly, and youth, and insolence, and thinks that he has no need of a guide or ruler, but is able himself to be the guide of others, he, I say,is left deserted of God” (“Laws,” 716). And Aristotle says: “He who is worthy of small things, and deems himself so, is wise” (“Nich. Ethics, iv., 3). At best, however, the classical conception is only modesty, absence of assumption. It is an element of wisdom and in no way opposed to self-righteousness (see Aristotle above). The word for the Christian virtue of humility ( ταπεινοφροσύνη )was not used before the Christian era, and is distinctly an outgrowth of the Gospel. This virtue is based upon a correct estimate of our actual littleness, and is linked with a sense of sinfulness. True greatness is holiness. We are little because sinful. Compare Luke 18:14. It is asked how, in this view of the case, the word can be applied to himself by the sinless Lord? “The answer is,” says Archbishop Trench, “that for the sinner humility involves the confession of sin, inasmuch as it involves the confession of his true condition; while yet for the unfallen creature the grace itself as truly exists, involving for such the acknowledgment, not of sinfulness, which would be untrue, but of creatureliness, of absolute dependence, of having nothing, but receiving all things of God. And thus the grace of humility belongs to the highest angel before the throne, being as he is a creature, yea, even to the Lord of Glory himself. In his human nature he must be the pattern of all humility, of all creaturely dependence; and it is only as a man that Christ thus claims to be lowly; his human life was a constant living on the fulness of his Father's love; he evermore, as man, took the place which beseemed the creature in the presence of its Creator” (“Synonyms,” p. 145). The Christian virtue regards man not only with reference to God, but to his fellow-man. In lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself (Philemon 2:3, Rev.). But this is contrary to the Greek conception of justice or righteousness, which was simply “his own to each one.” It is noteworthy that neither the Septuagint, the Apocrypha, nor the New Testament recognize the ignoble classical sense of the word.

Ye shall find ( εὑρήσετε )

Compare I will give you and ye shall find. The rest of Christ is twofold- given and found. It is given in pardon and reconciliation. It is found under the yoke and the burden; in the development of Christian experience, as more and more the “strain passes over” from self to Christ. “No other teacher, since the world began, has ever associated learn with rest. 'Learn of me,'says the philosopher, 'and you shall find restlessness.' 'Learn of me,' says Christ, 'and you shall find rest'” (Drummond, “Natural Law in the Spiritual World”)i1.


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The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/matthew-11.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Take my yoke upon you - Believe in me: receive me as your prophet, priest, and king. For I am meek and lowly in heart - Meek toward all men, lowly toward God: and ye shall find rest - Whoever therefore does not find rest of soul, is not meek and lowly. The fault is not in the yoke of Christ: but in thee, who hast not taken it upon thee. Nor is it possible for any one to be discontented, but through want of meekness or lowliness.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/matthew-11.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Take my yoke upon you1, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

  1. Take my yoke upon you. "Taking the yoke" is a symbolic expression. It means, "Submit to me and become my disciple", for the yoke is symbolic of the condition of servitude (Jeremiah 27:11,12; Isaiah 9:4; Acts 15:10 Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 6:1).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/matthew-11.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Take my yoke upon you; submit to my authority. He speaks not as their Teacher merely, but as their Master and Lord.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/matthew-11.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

29.Take my yoke upon you. Many persons, we perceive, abuse the grace of Christ by turning it into an indulgence of the flesh; and therefore Christ, after promising joyful rest to wretchedly distressed consciences, reminds them, at the same time, that he is their Deliverer on condition of their submitting to his yoke. He does not, he tells us, absolve men from their sins in such a manner, that, restored to the favor of God, they may sin with greater freedom, but that, raised up by his grace, they may also take his yoke upon them, and that, being free in spirit, they may restrain the licentiousness of their flesh. And hence we obtain a definition of that rest of which he had spoken. It is not at all intended to exempt the disciples of Christ from the warfare of the flesh, that they may enjoy themselves at their ease, but to train them under the burden of discipline, and keep them under the yoke.

Learn of me It is a mistake, I think, to suppose that Christ here assures us of his meekness, lest his disciples, under the influence of that fear which is usually experienced in approaching persons of distinction, should remain at a distance from him on account of his Divine glory. It is rather his design to form us to the imitation of himself, because the obstinacy of the flesh leads us to shrink from his yoke as harsh and uneasy. Shortly afterwards, he adds, (verse 30,) my yoke is easy But how shall any man be brought willingly and gently to bend his neck, unless, by putting on meekness, he be conformed to Christ? That this is the meaning of the words is plain; for Christ, after exhorting his disciples to bear his yoke, and desirous to prevent them from being deterred by its difficulty, immediately adds, Learn of me; thus declaring that, when his example shall have accustomed us to meekness and humility, we shall no longer feel his yoke to be troublesome. To the same purpose he adds, I will relieve you So long as the flesh kicks, we rebel; and those who refuse the yoke of Christ, and endeavor to appease God in any other manner, distress and waste themselves in vain. In this manner, we see the Papists wretchedly torturing themselves, and silently enduring the dreadful tyranny under which they groan, that they may not bow to the yoke of Christ.


Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/matthew-11.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LEARNING OF CHRIST

‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.’

Matthew 11:29

Just before our Lord spoke these words, He had declared His joy and thankfulness that intellectual eminence had nothing to do with the entrance into His school; that the mysteries of His teaching were hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed to babes. His Apostles maintain the same attitude. It might have seemed as though the triumph of Christianity must necessarily involve the depreciation of mental power. But in widest contrast with such a thought has been the actual course of the Church’s history.

I. No special privileges for intellect.—At the entrance into the Kingdom of God the human intellect is received now exactly as it was in the time of St. Paul. In and by itself, apart from the consideration of its use, it constitutes no claim to enter into the kingdom; it has no special privileges, no exceptions, no promise of a good place there. The intellect must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; it must take His yoke upon it. And then it shall learn of Him.

II. Things to be learnt.—‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.’

(a) Humility. The faith of Jesus Christ presses upon us the resolute cultivation of humility.

(b) Seriousness. Christianity bears a great part in the growth of the intellect by making it serious. To realise that our search for truth is conducted in the sight of God should lift us at once above the temptation to be ostentatious, or mercenary in the use and exercise of intellect.

(c) Unselfishness. The intellectual life will surely gain in purity and strength if the heart that animates it is unselfish. We are told that the besetting troubles of education and of learning in our day are ‘hurry, worry, and money.’ If so, what a career is open for minds that are raised by the obedience of Christ and the example of His Cross high above this wasteful strife of tongues.

III. The result—personal influence.—To be humble, to be serious, to be unselfish, these are the chief obligations which Christianity imposes on the intellect; these are the conditions of its entrance into the service of the kingdom of Almighty God: and when the highest gifts of intellect are consecrated by union with these graces, the result is a power of personal influence which it would be difficult to limit.

—Bishop F. Paget.

Illustration

‘“The education which I advocate,” said Professor Faraday, “has for its first and last step—humility.” I well remember hearing Mr. Darwin say about a writer who was much talked of, and who is apt to be at once very positive and wide-reaching in assertion, “Ah! I never read a page of him without thinking—there’s five or six years’ work for any one to see whether that’s true.” Humility and patience; these are the unfailing and characteristic elements in the temper of those who have really most advanced the empire of human knowledge.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/matthew-11.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 29. Take my yoke upon you] q.d. Though freed by me from the damning and domineering power of sin, you must not think to live as you wish. In the greatest freedom is the least licence. {a} To argue from mercy to liberty is the devil’s logic: from mercy to duty is the right reasoning, as Romans 12:1. Christians must not be yokeless, aweless, masterless, Belialists, that wander at will as wild asses, or canes, αδεσποτοι, but they must yield the obedience of faith, and be adding to their faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, &c., linking the graces hand in hand as in a dance (so the word signifies, επιχορηγησατε), 2 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 1:11, so shall they have an entrance ministered unto them further and further into Christ’s glorious kingdom.

And learn of me] The Arch-prophet, the Counsellor, that excellent speaker, as he is called in Daniel 8:13, that came out of the Father’s bosom, and hath his Father’s will at his fingers’ ends. Besides what he taught us by himself and his servants, he hath written for us those excellent things of his law, those lively oracles. He hath also left us, as here, his own practice for a pattern of the rule, and for a complete copy (as St Peter calleth it, υπογραμμον, 1 Peter 2:21), to write after. Pindarus saith of Hiero Syracusanus, that he had cropped off the tops of all virtues; {b} Melancthon, of Frederick the elector of Saxony, that he had picked out the flower of all noble abilities and endowments, {c} The same author proposeth George, Prince of Anhalt, for an example of unparalleled piety, worthy of all men’s imitation. Machiavel sets forth Caesar Borgia (a far worse man) as the only pattern for a prince to express. St Jerome, having read the religious life and death of Hilarion, folding up the book said, Well, Hilarion shall be the champion whom I will imitate, How much rather should we say so of Christ: every one of whose actions, whether moral or mediatory, were for our imitation. In his moral actions we should learn of him by doing as he did, 1 Peter 2:23. In his mediatory, by translating that he did to our spiritual life, as to die to sin, live to righteousness, &c.

For I am meek and lowly in heart] Lo, here is a piece of Christ’s yoke, which he therefore so calleth, because as the yoke maketh the heifer hang down her head and frame to hard labour, so doth humility (the mother of meekness) work in our hearts, Hosea 10:11. {d} Ephraim was a heifer used to dance and delight in soft straw, and could not abide to plough: but the Lord will make him (and all his) both bear and draw, and that from their youth up, Lamentations 3:1-66. And whereas meekness and lowly mindedness go coupled here together, we must know that they are virtutes collectaneae, as Bernard calleth them, a pair of twin sisters, never asunder. Remember, saith Mr Tyndale to Mr Frith, that as lowliness of mind shall make you high with God, even so meekness of words shall make you sink into the hearts of men.

And ye shall find rest unto your souls] These Christian virtues have virtutem pacativam, they lodge a sweet calm in the heart, freeing it from perturbations and distempers. A humble man saith, Who am I but I may be despised, abused, injured? And that which will break a passionate man’s heart, will not break a meek man’s sleep. {e}

{a} In maxima libertate minima licentia. Salvian

{b} δρεπων κορυφας αρετων απο πασων.

{c} Freder. selegit florem ex omnibus virtatibus. Scultet. Annal.

{d} ταπεινος quasi εδαφεινος, ab εδαφος, terra. Humilitas, ab humo.

{e} Socrates cum in comoedia taxaretur ridebat: Polyagrus vero seipsum strangulabat. Aelian. 5.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/matthew-11.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here note, That the phrase of take the yoke is judaical; the Jewish doctors spake frequently of the yoke of the law; the yoke of the commandments: and the ceremonies imposed upon the Jews are called a yoke, Acts 15:10.

Now as Moses had a yoke, so had Christ.

Accordingly, observe, 1. Christ's disciples must wear Christ's yoke. This yoke is twofold; a yoke of instruction; and a yoke of affliction; Christ's law is a yoke of instruction; it instructs; it restrains our natural inclinations, it curbs our sensual appetites; it is a yoke to corrupt nature; this yoke Christ calls his yoke, Take my yoke upon you: 1. Because he, as a Lord, lays it upon our necks.

2. Because he, as a servant, bore it upon his own neck first, before he laid it upon ours.

Observe, 2. That the way and manner how to bear Christ's yoke must be learnt of Christ himself. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; that is, learn of me, both what to bear, and how to bear.

Observe, 3. That Christ's humility and lowly-mindedness, is a great encouragement to Christians to come unto him, and learn of him, both how to obey his commands, and how to suffer his will and pleasure. Learn of me, for I am meek.


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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/matthew-11.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

29.] μάθετε ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ, both ‘from My example,’ which however is the lower sense of the words, and ‘from My teaching,’ from which alone the ἀνάπαυσις can flow; the ἀποκάλυψις of Matthew 11:25; Matthew 11:27.

εὑρήσετε ἀνάπ. τ. ψ. ὑμ. quoted from Jeremiah 6:16 Heb. Thus we have it revealed here, that the rest and joy of the Christian soul is, to become like Christ; to attain by His teaching this πραότης and ταπεινότης of His.

Olshausen makes an excellent distinction between ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ, an attribute of divine Love in the Saviour, and ταπεινὸς or πτωχὸς τῷ πνεύματι, ch. Matthew 5:3 : Proverbs 29:23, which can only be said of sinful man, knowing his unworthiness and need of help.

καρδία is only here used of Christ. (Stier on John 14:1.)


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/matthew-11.html. 1863-1878.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1350

CHRIST A MEEK AND LOWLY TEACHER

Matthew 11:29. Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

EVERY office which Christ sustains in the economy of redemption, is replete with encouragement to sinful man. His sufficiency as our great High-Priest to make atonement for us, and his power as our King to subdue our enemies, are subjects of frequent meditation, and sources of unspeakable comfort, to the true Christian. His prophetic office, especially as exercised towards ourselves, is less considered by Christians in general, though it is equally necessary for us, and no less conducive to our eternal welfare. In a preceding verse our Lord has told us, that none can know the Father, except they to whom the Son should reveal him; and, in the words before us, he invites all to come and learn of him the mysterious truths, which, though already recorded in the written word, cannot be apprehended aright, unless he unfold them to us, and enable us to understand them.

In these words we may discern,

I. Our duty—

Christ having undertaken to teach us the way of safety, and the way of duty, we should learn of him,

1. With the teachableness of children—

[Children receive with the most implicit submission whatever their teachers tell them. Thus should we learn of Christ: we should not bring our own preconceived notions to the Scriptures, or presume to try the mysteries of revelation at the bar of our own corrupt reason; but we should believe whatever God has spoken, and receive it simply on the authority of the speaker. Nor should the opinions of the wisest philosopher be of any weight with us, if they be clearly contrary to the voice of inspiration [Note: Isaiah 8:20.].]

2. With the diligence of students—

[They who have a thirst for knowledge, are almost constantly employed in deep thought, and laborious investigation. Nor do they account any pains too great, if only they can gain that eminence and distinction, which superior attainments will ensure. Thus should we be occupied in pursuit of divine knowledge; reading the word, “searching into it as for hidden treasures,” meditating upon it day and night, and praying over it for divine illumination. While others are careful, and cumbered about many things, we should be sitting at the feet of Jesus [Note: Luke 10:39-42.], and embracing all opportunities of religious instruction, whether in public or in private.]

3. With the obedience of devoted followers—

[Earthly knowledge may be merely speculative: divine knowledge must be practical; it is of no use at all, any further than it purifies the heart and renews the life. Whatever we find to be the mind and will of God, that we must do without hesitation, and without reserve. As the reasonings of men are to be disregarded when opposed to the declarations of God, so are the maxims of men to be set at nought, when by adopting them we should violate a divine command. One single word, confirmed with Thus saith the Lord, should operate more powerfully to the regulating of our faith and practice, than the sentiments and customs of the whole world combined.]

The description which our Lord has given us of his own character, shews what abundant provision is made for,

II. Our encouragement—

Our Lord’s words are not to be understood as an exhortation to learn meekness and lowliness from his example, but as a reason why we should cheerfully submit ourselves to his teaching. In this view they are very encouraging: they imply, that,

1. He will condescend to our ignorance—

[Those who are proficients in deep knowledge, cannot bear the drudgery of teaching children the first rudiments of language. But Jesus, who is able to instruct the highest archangel, is yet willing to take, as it were, under his tuition the most ignorant of mankind. As in the days of his flesh, “he spake the word to men as they were able to bear it,” so now will he give us “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little [Note: Isaiah 28:10.].” When his own disciples forbad people to bring their children to him, under the idea that his time ought not to be occupied with persons so incapable of benefiting by his instructions, he rebuked them, and desired that all, of whatever age or description, might have the freest access to him [Note: Mark 10:13-14.]; being as willing to adapt himself to the capacity of a child as to the more enlarged understandings of the Scribes and Pharisees.]

2. He will bear with our dulness—

[Human teachers are but too apt to feel irritation from the stupidity of their disciples. But Jesus, who has infinitely more to bear with than we can have, is ever patient, and ready to renew yet again and again the lessons that he has given us a thousand times. Scarcely any person can be conceived more dull of understanding than his own disciples, who, after he had been teaching them for nearly four years, were yet ignorant of the necessity of his death, of the ends of his resurrection, and of the spiritual nature of his kingdom. He was constrained sometimes to complain of them in this very view; “Are ye also yet without understanding [Note: Matthew 15:16.]?” Nevertheless he continued to teach them, till he had initiated them fully into all the mysteries of his kingdom. And thus will he do to the most ignorant of men; he will “open their understandings [Note: Luke 24:25.],” and “guide them into all truth [Note: John 16:13.].”]

3. He will encourage our feeblest efforts—

[It not unfrequently happens, that they who are slow of understanding, are altogether driven to despondency through the impatience of their teachers. But Jesus is all meekness and lowliness: and, however weak our efforts be, provided only they be sincere and humble, he will bless them with a measure of success, and with manifest tokens of his approbation. We may appeal to the experience of all, in confirmation of this truth: who ever sought instruction from him in a way of reading and prayer, without finding his mind gradually opening to an apprehension of the truth? Has not Jesus shewn, if we may so speak, a partiality for the poor and weak, revealing to them what he has hidden from the wise and prudent [Note: Matthew 11:25.]; confounding thereby the wisdom of the wise [Note: 1 Corinthians 1:27.], and securing to himself the glory of his own work? Yes; in reference to the illumination of the mind, as well as to any thing else, we may say, “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, but will bring forth judgment unto victory [Note: Matthew 12:20 and Zechariah 4:10.].”]

But, in addition to the encouragement which his condescension affords us, we have a further inducement to learn of him, from the consideration of,

III. Our reward—

An attention to the instructions of earthly monitors is productive of no little benefit. But if we diligently learn of Christ, our advantages will be greater than we can well conceive: we shall find benefit to our souls; we shall obtain “rest,”

1. From the uncertainty of conjecture—

[Mankind in general are in a state of doubt respecting the most important of all concerns: though they may assent to the principal truths of Christianity, they feel no assurance respecting them. But those who have learned of Christ, soon attain a full persuasion of the things they have been taught. The Scripture speaks of a threefold assurance; an assurance of understanding [Note: Colossians 2:2.], an assurance of faith [Note: Hebrews 10:22.], and an assurance of hope [Note: Hebrews 6:11.]: of all these, the men of this world have no idea: they are ready to speak of such things as marks of daring presumption. But the disciple of Christ has an inward witness of the truths he has learned [Note: Hebrews 11:13. 1 John 5:10; 1 John 3:19.]; and knows perfectly that they are not a cunningly-devised fable [Note: 2 Peter 1:16.]. He can venture his soul upon them with as much confidence, as he can recline his weary body upon his bed. He knows in whom he has believed; and that the soul which is committed to Jesus, is safe for ever [Note: 2 Timothy 1:12.].]

2. From the accusations of conscience—

[In spite of men’s endeavours to silence the convictions of their conscience, they never can obtain peace but in God’s appointed way. But the person that has learned of Christ to rely simply on his blood and righteousness, enjoys a “peace that passeth all understanding.” He knows that “the blood of Jesus will cleanse him from all sin,” and that “there is no condemnation to the soul that believes in him” — — —]

3. From the turbulence of passion—

[Whatever difference there may be in the natural tempers of men, all have some predominant passion that leads them captive. But the disciple of Christ has a new and more powerful principle infused into his soul [Note: Galatians 5:16-17.]; by means of which he is enabled to bring into subjection his corrupt appetites, and to mortify those evil dispositions which are such a fruitful source of misery to the unregenerate. This forms the great line of distinction between the Lord’s people and others; for, whereas others are led captive by some sin, believers “have not so learned Christ, if they have indeed heard him and been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus [Note: Ephesians 4:19-21.]:” on the contrary, “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts [Note: Galatians 5:24.].”]

4. From the fear of death—

[Men may brave death on a field of battle; but all, except the true Christian, shrink from it in its more silent and gradual approaches. But Christ purchased for his followers a deliverance from this bondage [Note: Hebrews 2:14-15.]. With respect to them, death has lost its sting: yea, it is counted amongst their richest treasures [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:22.]: and they are enabled to look forward to it with pleasure, as the period when all their conflicts will cease, and their joys be consummated for ever [Note: Philippians 1:23.] — — —

“Such is the heritage of the servants of the Lord;” and such is the rest that Christ will impart to all who learn of him.]

Address—

[Are there any amongst us that are prosecuting human learning with avidity? O remember, that the knowledge of Christ infinitely transcends all other knowledge [Note: Philippians 3:8.], and will bring with it a more certain, and far nobler, recompence. Be persuaded then to devote to it some portion of every day, and the whole of your sabbaths, that you may not only be wise, but “wise unto salvation [Note: 2 Timothy 3:15.].”

Are there any that are dejected on account of their own incapacity to learn? Consider the abilities of your Teacher; and say, whether he be not able to instruct you, as well as others? He can make “the blind to see out of obscurity, and out of darkness [Note: Isaiah 29:18.]:” yea, he will the more readily exert himself on your behalf, because the excellency of the power displayed in your proficiency will the more evidently appear to be of him [Note: 2 Corinthians 4:7.]. Take comfort then, and expect the certain accomplishment of that promise, “Then shall ye know, if ye follow on to know the Lord [Note: Hosea 6:3.].”]


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/matthew-11.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Matthew 11:29. ἄρατε, take ye) To take the yoke of Christ upon us, is to give oneself up wholly to His discipline.— ὅτι, κ. τ. λ., because, etc.) Hence it appears why we should willingly learn from Jesus. Our meekness and lowliness are consequent upon our so doing.— πρᾶός εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς, κ. τ. λ., I am meek and lowly, etc.) Although His language is fearful in Matthew 11:20; Matthew 11:24. Meekness produces easiness of yoke; lowliness of heart, lightness of burden. The Pharisees were austere and proud. Condescension (Demissio) is a much to be admired virtue of God, which is described as fully as possible, although it is not named in Scripture, by one word; whose likeness, humility, is found in the saints; whose opposite, pride, in Satan and the wicked. For it is condescension, that that highest Majesty should have deigned at all to make creatures, and especially men, however contemptible, however mean, and to look on them without disdain, and to unite them to Itself. And the Son of God in a most conspicuous manner manifested His humility in our flesh.—See Psalms 34:7; Psalms 113:6; Luke 1:48; Luke 1:52-53; Luke 12:37; Luke 22:27; John 12:26; John 13:14; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 11:16.— τῇ καρδίᾳ, in heart) Lowly does not by itself express a quality of the heart, which meek does; therefore in heart refers rather to lowly than to meek. The word καρδίᾳ completes the expression: see Romans 2:5.— καὶ, and) καὶ is introduced as in κἀγὼ, and I, in Matthew 11:28. Thus the LXX. in Jeremiah 6:16, καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀγνισμὸν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν and ye shall find purification(547) for your souls. Rest flows from the heart of Christ into our souls; see Matthew 11:29.— εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν, ye shall find rest) as yet unknown to you, but sought for and desired.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/matthew-11.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Matthew 11:30".


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/matthew-11.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

None need to be miserable. By submission to Jesus Christ, trust in him, and obedience to his commands, all may be happy in life, in death, and for ever.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/matthew-11.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

29. μάθετε ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ. i.e. ‘become my disciples;’ an idea also conveyed by the word ζυγός, which was used commonly among the Jews for the yoke of instruction. Stier quotes from the Mishna, ‘Take upon you the yoke of the holy kingdom.’ Men of Belial = ‘Men without the yoke,’ ‘the uninstructed.’

ὅτι πραΰς εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ. The character of Jesus described by Himself: cp. 2 Corinthians 10:1, παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς διὰ τῆς πρᾳύτητος καὶ ἐπιεικείας τοῦ Χριστοῦ. It is this character that brings rest to the soul, and therefore gives us a reason why men should become His disciples.

ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν. Cp. Jeremiah 6:16, ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.’

ταῖς ψυχαῖς] Not relief from external bodily toil.


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"Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/matthew-11.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

29. Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly — My gentle spirit and soul-subduing doctrines can alone give that temper by which the soul of the man, and the soul of the living world, may come to their true rest. Unto your souls — Unless there be peace within there can never be peace without. Theorists and socialists will in vain attempt by external organizations to give peace. They are mistakenly endeavouring to work from the without to the within. Men’s hearts need to be regenerated in order that a perfect organization of society may exist, or be maintained. Human institutions are what human hearts make them. The organization of society is generally as good as the moral and mental state of the mass will permit. When men’s hearts become right, the true freedom may be attainable.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/matthew-11.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest to your souls.”

The yoke of Jesus is not based on submitting to His instruction but on learning from Jesus Himself what it meant to be meek and lowly in heart, and walking in submission to Him. It is the yoke of the Kingly Rule of God. In general a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load. The idea may well be that Jesus was, as it were, in the yoke, and that those who came to Him joined Him in the yoke and as it were walked with Him as He walked in meekness and lowliness (compare Galatians 2:20). Thus did they learn from Him (compare Isaiah 30:21 where we have the words of the yoke-master). How else could it be made easy? This ties in with the attitude which was required of His disciples in the beatitudes as a result of God’s blessing of them (Matthew 5:3-9).

‘Meek and lowly in heart.’ The idea behind meekness is not that of being afraid to stand up and be counted, but of not being continually concerned with one’s own interests. The meek person never gets het up about selfish concerns, for in cases like this his concern is only to please God and look after God’s interests. That is why Moses was able to be described as ‘meek’ (Numbers 12:3). Lowliness of heart goes with meekness. Compare ‘poor in spirit’. There is no thought of exalting self. Note how this connects with the activity of the Servant in Matthew 12:19-20, and with the continual emphasis on the fact that true greatness is found in being lowly (Matthew 20:25-28).

‘And you will find rest to your souls.’ Compare Jeremiah 6:16 where the rest is found by walking in the old paths, ‘the good way’. So the good way was to be found by walking as He walked. Note that in Jeremiah the failure to listen to what God was saying resulted in the exile. Here the One Who representing Israel has come out of exile (Matthew 2:15) offers the opportunity to them to ‘return from (spiritual) exile’ and find rest. But this is the rest of quietness and confidence. ‘In returning and rest you will be saved, in quietness and in confidence will be your strength’ (Isaiah 30:15)


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/matthew-11.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 11:29. Take my yoke upon you. The Jews called the law a ‘yoke.’ Our Lord here refers to His rule, doctrine, and leadership.

And learn of me. Either, take pattern from me, or as the context suggests, become my disciples.

For I am meek and lowly in heart, not in appearance merely, as the scribes. Humility is the first requisite in learning of God. The ‘meek and lowly’ One can teach us this first lesson. The lowliness seems the greater from the language of Matthew 11:27.

And ye shall find rest unto your souls. Rest of soul is the true aim; we must seek it, and seek it from Christ ‘Man is made for Christ, and his heart is without rest, until it rests in Him.’


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/matthew-11.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Matthew 11:29. ζυγόν: current phrase to express the relation of a disciple to a master. The Rabbis spoke of the “yoke of the law”. Jesus uses their phrases while drawing men away from their influence.— μάθετε ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ: not merely learn from my example (Buttmann, Gram., p. 324: on, that is, from the case of), but, more comprehensively, get your learning from me; take me as your Master in religion. The thing to be learned is not merely a moral lesson, humility, but the whole truth about God and righteousness. But the mood of Master and scholar must correspond, He meek as they have become by sorrowful experience. Hence ὅτι πραΰςτῇ καρδίᾳ: not that, hut for I am, etc. What connection is there between this spirit and knowledge of God? This: a proud man cannot know God. God knoweth the proud afar off (Psalms 138:6), and they know God afar off. God giveth the grace of intimate knowledge of Himself to the lowly.— ἀνάπαυσιν: rest, such as comes through finding the true God, or through satisfaction of desire, of the hunger of the soul.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/matthew-11.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Take up my yoke, &c. Fear not the yoke of Christ, for it is a yoke of the greatest sweetness. Be not disheartened when he mentions a burden, because it is a burden exceeding light. If then our Saviour says, that the way of virtue is exceeding narrow, and replete with difficulties and dangers, we must call to mind that it is so to the slothful only. Perform therefore with alacrity what is required, and then will all things be easy; the burden will be light, and the yoke sweet. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. xxxix.)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/matthew-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

your souls = your own selves (emph.)


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/matthew-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Take my yoke upon you [the yoke of subjection to Jesus] and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. As Christ's willingness to empty Himself to the uttermost of His Father's requirements was the spring of ineffable repose to His own spirit, so in the same track does He invite all to follow Him, with the assurance of the same experience.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/matthew-11.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Take my yoke. Symbolic of placing yourself in his hands and control. We seize his promise by obediently become his disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/matthew-11.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(29) Take my yoke upon you.—As the teaching of the Pharisees was a yoke too grievous to be borne, so the yoke of Christ is His teaching, His rule of life, and so is explained by the “learn of Me” that follows. (Comp. Sirach 51:26.)

I am meek and lowly in heart.—The stress lies upon the last words. Others might be lowly with the lowliness which is ambition’s ladder, but pride and self-assertion were reigning in their hearts. The Christ, in His infinite sympathy with men of all classes and conditions, could boldly incur the risk of seeming to boast of His humility, in order that He might win men to come and prove by experience that He was able and willing to give them rest, to hear the tale of their sorrows, and to turn from none with scorn.

Ye shall find rest unto your souls.—Here, as often elsewhere in our Lord’s teaching, we have a direct quotation from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:16).


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/matthew-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
my
7:24; 17:5; John 13:17; 14:21-24; 15:10-14; 1 Corinthians 9:21; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 5:9
and learn
27; 28:20; Luke 6:46-48; 8:35; 10:39-42; John 13:15; Acts 3:22,23; 7:37; Ephesians 4:20,21; Philippians 2:5; 1 John 2:6
for
12:19,20; 21:5; Numbers 12:3; Psalms 131:1; Isaiah 42:1-4; Zechariah 9:9; Luke 9:51-56; 2 Corinthians 10:1; Philippians 2:7,8; 1 Peter 2:21-23
and ye
28; Jeremiah 6:16; Hebrews 4:3-11

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/matthew-11.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

1:29

Yoke is from ZUGOS, which has been rendered in the Authorized Version by yoke5 times and pair of balances1. The word is used as an illustration of the obligation that one must accept as a co-worker with Jesus in the service of righteousness. Learn of me is consistent with the whole situation, for if a man expects to serve his yokefellow he should desire to know something about him. That learning will reveal that the owner of the yoke is meek and lowly which means he is humble and interested in the welfare of the unfortunate ones of earth. The rest is to be for the soul, not that a disciple of Jesus will be an idler in the vineyard. But while his body may be bent down with the toils of the service and from its persecutions imposed by the enemy, the inner man will be at peace and rest in the Lord. (See 2 Corinthians 4:16.)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Matthew 11:29". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/matthew-11.html. 1952.


Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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