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Matthew 11:29

Adam Clarke
Bible 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.

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.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It becomes children to be grateful. When we come to God as a Father, we must remember that he is Lord of heaven and earth, which obliges us to come to him with reverence as to the sovereign Lord of all; yet with confidence, as one able to defend us from evil, and to supply us with all good. Our blessed Lord added a remarkable declaration, that the Father had delivered into his hands all power, authority, and judgment. We are indebted to Christ for all the revelation we have of God the Father's will and love, ever since Adam sinned. Our Saviour has invited all that labour and are heavy-laden, to come unto him. In some senses all men are so. Worldly men burden themselves with fruitless cares for wealth and honours; the gay and the sensual labour in pursuit of pleasures; the slave of Satan and his own lusts, is the merest drudge on earth. Those who labour to establish their own righteousness also labour in vain. The convinced sinner is heavy-laden with guilt and terror; and the tempted and afflicted believer has labours and burdens. Christ invites all to come to him for rest to their souls. He alone gives this invitation; men come to him, when, feeling their guilt and misery, and believing his love and power to help, they seek him in fervent prayer. Thus it is the duty and interest of weary and heavy-laden sinners, to come to Jesus Christ. This is the gospel call; Whoever will, let him come. All who thus come will receive rest as Christ's gift, and obtain peace and comfort in their hearts. But in coming to him they must take his yoke, and submit to his authority. They must learn of him all things, as to their comfort and obedience. He accepts the willing servant, however imperfect the services. Here we may find rest for our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. His commandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness. The way of duty is the way of rest. The truths Christ teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon. Such is the Redeemer's mercy; and why should the labouring and burdened sinner seek for rest from any other quarter? Let us come to him daily, for deliverance from wrath and guilt, from sin and Satan, from all our cares, fears, and sorrows. But forced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavy burden. In vain do we draw near to Jesus with our lips, while the heart is far from him. Then come to Jesus to find rest for your souls.
Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 102.2

In strict loyalty, for the glory of God, we are to bring to the people all the light and evidence possible. In order to do this, we must be constant learners in the school of Christ. We are to learn His meekness and lowliness. Only thus can we, by our words and in our character, impart the Holy Spirit's unction.—Letter 53, 1900. PM 102.2

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 132.4

Brother C needs to be transformed in character before he is in condition to be at all times a safe counselor. When the love of Jesus pervades his soul, he will diffuse it. When he has learned meekness and lowliness in the school of Christ, he will reveal a Christlike patience, an invincible charity, and an omnipotent faith in the grand work of saving souls for whom Christ has died. Every soul must come to the trial of all the Christian graces. The heart must be warmed with the glowing fire of God's goodness. When the Lord moves upon the earth by His Holy Spirit, there will be a submitting to the discipline and influence of the Holy Spirit. Painstaking effort, which is requisite to the attainment of true virtue and wisdom, and is indispensable to him who will be chosen to become a coworker with Jesus Christ, will be manifested.—Letter 42, 1893. PM 132.4

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 134.4

When Pharisaism Sprang Up—For years a degree of Pharisaism has been springing up amongst us which has separated some from the Bible standard. If the preconceived ideas of those actuated by this spirit are crossed, they immediately assume a controversial, combative attitude, as a man puts on armor when preparing for battle. Much pride and loftiness and a spirit which desires to rule have been manifested, but very little of the spirit which leads men to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him has been shown. Human inventions and human plans are eclipsing sacred things and excluding divine instruction. Men are taking the place of God by seeking to assume authority over their fellow men. But they rule without a vestige of the authority of God, which alone can make their ruling a healthful element; and others are becoming leavened by this wrong influence. If the principles of truth had been enthroned in the hearts of these men, human passions and human affections would have been guided and controlled by the spirit of Christ. The atmosphere surrounding the soul would not be deleterious and poisonous, for self would be hid in Jesus.—Letter 81, 1896. PM 134.4

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 136.1

Tenderness in Dealing With Workers—I entreat those who have charge of the office here to be kind and courteous in dealing with the apprentices. Win their souls by kindness. If they do wrong, go to them in the spirit of meekness, and talk and pray with them. Work for the salvation of every one of them. Do not rest till this is accomplished. Let them see that you act as tender fathers and brothers, that you are meek and lowly in heart. Do not rest until you see that their feet are planted firmly on the Rock of Ages. Then everything will move harmoniously. PM 136.1

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