The Yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:28–30) - Radical

The Yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:28–30)

“Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28–30

There’s so much we can say about these words but just hear, let this soak in, meditate on this for a moment. 

Jesus has invited us to be in the yoke with Him, to experience His power, strength, grace, and mercy working in and through us on a moment-by-moment basis.

These Verses Remind Us of the Difficulty of Following God’s Commands

Here is the Son of God, Jesus, God in the flesh saying to you, come to me. Inviting us and really the essence of this, inviting us to give us all we have. This picture of yoke, we give Him all we have, which in the context here involves the full weight of our sin, the reality that our every effort to obey the law has come up short. We are totally and utterly unable to obey the commands of God. It’s not that the commands are bad, the commands are good but they cannot be carried out in our hearts. We’re imperfect sinful people and we can’t, we do not obey God.

Matthew 11:28–30: Jesus’s Yoke

Yet Jesus, in mercy says, give Me your sin, your inability to obey God and I will give you my yoke. Take my yoke upon you. Jesus comes to us and says I will give you full pardon for all your sin. Enter into my yoke. I pay the price for your sin. And I will carry the burden for your sin. I will obey the law you cannot obey and I will give you all I have. Full pardon for all your sin and I will give you, the picture here is give you the ability to obey God.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me. That word learn is huge. It’s the same word that’s translated disciple later on in Matthew in the Great Commission. Go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus is literally saying here, learn what it means to be my disciple and you will find rest for your soul in Me. I will help you walk with God. Just let this soak in today.

These Verses Remind Us of What the Christian Life is Truly About

The Christian life is not about what you can do for God. We know that is not how we’re saved by what we can do for Him, but even today it’s not about what we can do in and of ourselves for God. It’s about Christ living in us and through us and for us on a daily basis. Our struggles with sin and the battles we have with temptation today and the sufferings and the trials we walk through we are not alone.

We’re in the yoke with Jesus. The One who calls us to live with righteous is the One who gives us the power to live with righteousness. The One who beckons us to trust God is the One who enables us to trust God. Jesus has invited us to be in the yoke with Him, to experience His power, His strength, His grace, His mercy working in and through us on a moment by moment basis all throughout this day.

Prayer to Abide in Jesus

We find ourselves in praying based on Matthew 11:28–30. Yes, Jesus we come to You. We find rest in You. We need You. And we need the pardon You give for our sin, we need the forgiveness You provide for our sin and we need You to help us walk with God. To obey God, to experience the delight of obedience to His commands.

God, we need Your help through Christ to live this Christian life. We cannot do it on our own today. We couldn’t do it yesterday, we can’t do it tomorrow, we can’t do it today. Please help us, we pray. Help us in such a way that we find rest for our souls as we abide in Jesus, as we walk in the yoke with Jesus, as we learn what it means to follow Jesus we pray that our souls will grow into greater and greater rest with You. Enjoyment of You, delight in You because of the work of Christ in us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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