Commands of Christ

Take My Yoke

Where is this command found?

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28–30

Applying This Command

When two animals are yoked together, one of them must be dominant and the other one submissive. If two strong-willed oxen are yoked together, there will be constant tension as one ox pulls one way with a faster pace, and the other tries to pull another way at a slower pace.

Jesus calls all those to come to Him who “labour and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28). In this command, Jesus states that He will give weary ones rest before He tells them to put on His yoke and learn of Him. There is good reason for this sequence. We cannot be yoked to Jesus if we are already yoked to the bondage of sin. All those who repent of sin and cry out to God for His mercy and forgiveness will be delivered from the burden of sin. (See Romans 10:9–13.)

Bible Verses for Meditation

In addition to meditation on Matthew 11:28–30, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Take My Yoke.

Philippians 2:5–7

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

I Peter 2:21

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”

I John 2:6

“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Psalm 25:9

“The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”

I Peter 3:4

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Psalm 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

Related Episodes

From the Podcast

Dive deeper into the command Take My Yoke with these episodes from the Commands of Christ podcast!

Study Question

Q: The Law of God prohibits the yoking of two animals of different sizes and strengths, such as an ox and a donkey. God also forbids the yoking of two people with opposing natures, such as a believer and an unbeliever. Why then, would God yoke a weak and faulty human being with a powerful and holy God? (See Deuteronomy 7:2–3, 22:10, and II Corinthians 6:14.)

A: The requirement for two beasts of burden to work in harmony under a yoke has caused the phrase “being yoked together” to be used metaphorically in describing an individual’s voluntary submission to another, as in the “yoke” of marriage.

The Law of God forbids the yoking of two animals of different sizes and strengths, because to do so would place the smaller, weaker animal in a position of constant pain and pressure. (See Deuteronomy 22:10.)

For this reason, Scripture admonishes believers not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6:14). Such a yoking would be unworkable bondage and wearisome servitude, since the nature of the believer is “unequal” to the nature of an unbeliever.

However, as we put on Christ’s yoke, we surrender our wills to His will. The resulting attitude is meekness: the yielding of our rights to God, putting our strength under His control. It is significant that Jesus describes Himself as “meek and lowly in heart” Matthew 11:29 and invites us to learn of Him. (See Matthew 11:29.)

God wants every believer to learn His ways and to develop Christ-like character. When we learn the ways of God, we become strong in the Lord and are no longer “unequally yoked,” for the “way of the LORD is strength to the upright” (Proverbs 10:29).

If we are yoked to Jesus, we will learn His ways as we yield to His leadership. As we are conformed to the image of Christ through an intimate knowledge of Him and His ways, we will learn by experience what is that “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

For Further Study

You can learn more about the command Take My Yoke in the book Commands of Christ: Series 4.

Other Resources

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