This week Bro. Leo continues us on a study of the Jesus you never knew by looking at what the yoke of Jesus is in Matt.11:30.
For the last four weeks we have been studying how Jesus introduced Himself as the Messiah to the Jewish leaders and the transition from the Law to Grace in Matt.11:28-30. In Matt.11:28-30 Jesus is transitioning the Jews from the Mosaic Laws (Old Covenant) to Himself the Messiah, Grace. In the Mosaic Law the Jews were under the yoke of 613 laws and 400-600 addendums that the Jewish leaders had added to the Law. Jesus is telling them all they have to do now is to come to Him and take His yoke and learn from Him in an abiding, continuous personal relationship. He will teach them, equip them and guide them through life. In Matt.23:1-9,13-15, 23-24, Matt.5:1-3, 7-9, 14 Jesus addresses the issue of legalism (yoke of traditions) with the Jewish religious leaders. We learned the initial rest was a rest for the Jews from the 613 Mosaic Laws, commands, 400+- additions to the law, the legalism of Judaism (Matt.23:4-5, 23-24), guilt laden works. Notice that the focus in vs.28 is Me and I (Jesus). In Exo.33:13-14 Moses asks God for grace and God said His presence will go with Moses resulting in “rest”. So, when Jesus said, in Matt.11:28, He would give rest, the Jews recognized that Jesus was telling them He was God and would give them “rest” by His presence in their lives, grace not works. We learned about the second “rest” Jesus mentions in vs.29 (ye shall find rest unto your souls). The word “rest” is translated from the Greek word “anapausis” which means a relaxation of a strained effort, a succession of or a letting go of, a release of; resulting in a spiritual nature of inward tranquility, a calmness, a quietness of heart mind and soul. This second rest is a deeper rest, an abiding rest, a result of being in yoked with Jesus. Notice in Matt.11:28-30 Jesus refers to Himself 7 times as the source of our rest. Jesus gives us what religion and legalism can not, He gives us rest. With Jesus we no longer have to rely on our own “labor” (works) for our salvation. The works that we do after we are saved all come from His power, not our own (Matt.23:4, 2Tim.1:12, Heb.3:10-12, 17-19, Heb.4:10-11). In Heb.3:10-12, 17-19 the “unbelief” the Hebrew writer is talking about is not that the Israelites didn’t believe in God, they experienced God parting the Red Sea and feeding them mana, they didn’t trust God’s provisions. Without trusting in God’s provisions for our every need there is no way we can enter into God’s rest. And we learned Jesus describes Himself as “meek and lowly”. The word “meek” is translated from the Greek word “praos” which means meek, mild and gentle, approachable and accessible. The wod “lowly” is translated from the Greek word “tapeinos” which means a condition of the mind in which how you truly view yourself as lowly humble and modest which results in a servants mindset. Jesus came to us to be our servant (Matt.20:25-28). Jesus didn’t come to us to condemn us, He came to save us (John 3:17). Jesus is nonjudgmental and noncondemning (John 8:1-11). In John 8:1-11 Jesus puts the Scribes and Pharisees on the same level as the accused adulterer. The Scribes and Pharisees had elevated themselves above the people not unlike a lot of Christian religions in the world today, which is not Scriptural. Notice that Jesus tells the adulterer that He doesn’t condemn her, but He then tells her to “go, and sin no more”.
The word “easy” in Matt.11:30 is translated from the Greek word “chrēstos” which means to be useful, beneficial, helpful, profitable, and good. In this context the “yoke” represents a certain set of teachings, requirements and expectations within a religious system or under a certain religious teacher. The yoke of the Mosaic law consisted of 613 commandments and between 400-600 addendums added to the Law.
In Acts 15:1-11 we see that some of the Pharisees that believed in Jesus were trying to incorporate some of the Mosaic laws into Christianity, “to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” Acts 15:10.
Paul tells us in Gal.5:1-6 that we should not be entangled with the “yoke of bondage”, speaking of adding works of “the Law” to Grace. Paul goes on to say that if we try to justify ourselves by our works then we have fallen away from Grace.
When asked what the work of God is in John 6:28-29 Jesus told them “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Jesus goes on to say in vs.40 that “that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life”.
In Matt.22:35-40 (John 13:34-35, Matt.16:24-25)Jesus defines His “yoke” “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
John sums up the Yoke of Jesus in 1John 5:1-6, 10-12. It is God who enables us to carry the Yoke of Jesus (Jer.31:33-35, Exe.36:25-27, John 14:20, 2Cor.4:16).
Scriptures used in today’s study:
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Act 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Act 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
Act 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Act 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Act 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Act 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
Joh 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Joh 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Mat 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1Jn 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.