Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you. Christ's yoke, of which he speaks here, is the yoke of Sonship, his relation to God, and the responsibilities, duties, and burdens which it involved. And his point is that he did not want to bear that yoke alone. It was a yoke meant for two. It could only be borne aright when disciples and he bore the yoke together. Illustration may be taken from the yoke fitted to the shoulders of the two oxen that drew the Eastern plough. That yoke was only easy for each ox as they both cheerfully bore it together. So with the yoke of Sonship. It did not lie easy on Christ's shoulder unless his disciples bore it with him. It never could lie easy on their shoulder unless he bore it with them. It is true that rest comes for man in the spirit of sonship; but it is also true that it does not come to man in a lonely sonship - only in a sonship fully shared with Christ.

I. A YOKE FOR ONE. "Take my yoke." There must be a sense in which our Lord's yoke was his own, and could be shared by nobody. And there is a sense in which each individual man must "bear his own burden." But Christ and we have more that is common to humanity, than that is unique to ourselves. We can and do "bear one another's burdens." There is a tendency to exaggerate the uniqueness of our Lord's experience. It is healthier and wiser to dwell fully on the commonness of his experience and ours. The piece of the yoke on Christ was exactly his piece, and had its peculiar pressure; but it was only part of a yoke, which really lay on two shoulders.

II. A YOKE FOR TWO. "Take my yoke upon you," and let us share it together; then it will grow light and easy for us both. Can we bear Christ's yoke with him? Yes, if we understand aright what that yoke was.

1. it was honouring God in a gracious human life. We can share in that.

2. It was revealing God as the loving Father, in a beautiful human Sonship. We can share in that.

3. It was doing the Father's work, and seeking and saving the wandering and lost sons and daughters. We can share in that. And the strange thing is that lifting up and sharing Christ's yoke is the way to rest, the only way. Rest for any man can only come out of finding the Father in heaven. No one can find the Father until he gets the Spirit of the Son into his heart. Jesus seems to say, "My rest is in being a Son; my yoke is the yoke of Sonship. Bear my yoke, and you too shall find rest unto your souls." - R.T.

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me.
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.)

American Homiletic Review.
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.)

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

(Bishop Huntingdon.)

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.)

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.)

One: —


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.


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.)

I. The exchange of YOKES.

II. The exchange of BURDENS.

III. The exchange of TEACHING.

(H. Bonar.)

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 —

(1)the yoke of His profession;

(2)The yoke of His precepts;

(3)The yoke of His dispensations.

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.)

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.


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

(1)the active work;

(2)the spirit of the work;

(3)the joy and reward of the work.Conclusion: — There is no forced bearing of yokes with Christ, we must choose to come under it with Christ,

(R. Tuck.)

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.)

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.


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 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.)

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.)

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.)

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