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.
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:
(2)of afflictions or crosses, Lamentations 3:27.
(3)of the punishment of sin, Lamentations 1:14,
(4)of the commandments of God.
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.
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 102.2Read in context »
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 132.4Read in context »
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 134.4Read in context »
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 136.1Read in context »