You never really know a person until you are in a close and prolonged relationship. Jesus, wanting a close relationship with His followers, said, “Come to Me…and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).
Jesus said, “No one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Man cannot imagine what God is like.
Our finite minds simply cannot grasp the infinite. It must be revealed to us. Peter understood that Jesus was the Messiah and was told, “For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matt 16:17).
In the context of revealing the Father and granting rest to the one who comes to Jesus in trust, Jesus challenges his followers, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me.” The yoke, with regard to animals, means control and submission to your owner, but with humans, the imagery signifies slavery. However, Jesus’s “yoke” is opposed to the heavy yoke of the Pharisees (i.e., legalists).
In the Hebrew world, a student is under the yoke of his teacher, which means he submits to his teachings. Thus to take the yoke of Jesus is to submit to or assimilate the teachings of the Master as our own life principles. This first phrase is then parallel to the second phrase: “and learn from Me.” The word learn means to become a “disciple or learner.”
There are three reasons why Jesus can be trusted: First, He said, “I am gentle [or meek]” as opposed to being quick to anger.
Second, “I am…humble in heart.” His humility is what attracted His followers. He is not filled with self-importance, but He is other-centered, which earns trust.
Third, “you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus promised, “I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28), and now “you will find rest.” One is the gift resulting from trust, and this rest is the consequence of learning to be like Him. We are no longer slaves to a legalistic system but are free to learn the attitudes of God. As Paul wrote, “I delight in the law of God to the inward man” (Rom 7:22).
As we become like Him, we too become trustworthy, modeling the peace that only truth can bring to a soul. Let’s become, and make, disciples like Jesus.
“Dear Father, when Your children are willing to take the responsibility You have given us to reach the world, You give us inner rest. What a wonderful God we serve!”