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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 11 - Verse 29

Verse 29. Take my yoke. This is a figure taken from the use of oxen; and hence signifying to labour for one, or in the service of any one. The yoke is used in the Bible as an emblem

(1.) of bondage or slavery, Le 26:13

(2.) Of afflictions or crosses, La 3:27.

(3.) Of the punishment of sin, La 1:14.

(4.) Of the commandments of God, as in this place.

(5.) Of legal ceremonies, Ac 15:10; Ga 5:1. It refers here to the religion of the Redeemer; and means 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 were mild, and gentle, and easy. Let any one compare them with the burdensome and expensive ceremonies of the Jews, Ac 15:10, or with the religious rites of the heathen everywhere, or with the requirements of the Popish system, and he will see how true it is that his 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 honour, and sensuality—and he will feel that religion is "freedom," Joh 8:36. "He is a freeman whom the truth maketh free, and all are slaves beside." It is easier to be a Christian than a sinner; and of all the yokes ever imposed on men, that of the Redeemer is the lightest.

For I am meek, etc. See Barnes "Mt 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.

{d} "learn of me" Php 2:5-8; 1 Pe 2:21 {e} "lowly in heart" Zec 9:9 {f} "ye shall find" Jer 6:16

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