Learn of Me
“Learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29).
THESE words penetrate deeper than the thunders of Sinai.
The express commands and prohibitions of the law meet a ready response from proud human hearts which are ever ready to say, “All that the Lord hath spoken will we do.” But when the lips of Him who was meek and lowly in heart, of Him who made Himself of no reputation and was despised and rejected of men, are heard to say, “Learn of Me,” a path of patient suffering and service is discovered. For this path none are prepared who have not the mind of Christ and do not love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
To learn of Him, as His ways and His will are revealed in the Word of God, is to learn subjection till “every thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” For He has opened to us much of His hidden life, during which He learned obedience on the earth by the things which He suffered, and He glorified the Father by the perfect fulfilment of His will.
The Perfect Example
He was in truth, the only beloved Son of God and by Him were all things created. “He was the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person.” And yet, when He humbled Himself to the form of a servant and was found in fashion as a man, He yielded Himself in unreserved surrender to a place of dependence and lived by every word which proceeded out of the mouth of God. It is only as we understand this that we can estimate aright His years of childhood, youth and manhood, and the wonderful word He uttered when He said, “I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” (John 5:30). It is in the light of such words that we can enter into the meaning of Jehovah’s call, “Behold My servant whom I uphold; Mine elect in whom My soul delighteth” (Isa. 41:1).
None but He could say with truth, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29). He lived in unbroken fellowship with Him of whom He said, “The Lord God hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned” (or as the instructed one) (Isa. 50:4). It was in this fellowship He rejoiced continually “I will bless the Lord, who hath given Me counsel! My reins also instruct Me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before Me: because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved” (Psa. 16:7-8). Into paths of trial He was led. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” How His obedience was tested, we know from that scene of supreme distress when the moment approached for Him to bear the guilt of man, and so to meet the righteous wrath of God. Let us ponder His words “Abba Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me; nevertheless not what I will but what Thou wilt.” He went forward into the hands of sinners when delivered up. “I gave My back to the smiters and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not My face from shame and spitting.” And onward still, “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.” Therefore says the Apostle, “God hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow (Phil. 2:9-10).
The Humble Follower
We must learn the force of the words “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Human examples are easily imitated, but He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit and it is only as united to Him and abiding in Him, that we can walk even as He walked. To say in sincere humility, “I can of my own self do nothing” and to act on the conviction that we are “not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves.” We must be taught of God. Natural ardour of disposition, natural gifts of various kinds, may carry us far in the esteem of men and in the appearance of devoted service. To renounce dependence on all that is of the flesh and to wait on the Lord in the assurance of His power to use the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty are in themselves proofs that we submit to His perfect will. To go on patiently, not seeking the praise of men nor, in any wise our own will or glory, but rather the favour, praise, and glory of our Father only, surely is indeed the fruit of the spirit transforming us into the likeness of Christ. We learn that it is by a life of simple dependence that we can most effectually glorify God. We also know that it is from this objective that our adversary will as often as he can cast us down. To lead us, our gracious Lord again and again has to humble us, disappointing our vanity and ambition, so that we may indeed learn the lesson that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. In the true knowledge of this, we can echo the words, “Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
It ought not to be hard to learn this lesson for the Lord Jesus, the perfect example, with all His inherent and infinite power chose the place of dependence and submitted Himself perfectly in all His service, from day to day, to His Father’s will. How dreadful is the pride in our hearts that displays our self-sufficiency! May we learn more perfectly the wisdom of fellowship and communion with our blessed Lord and the taking His yoke upon us to find rest for our souls. To live habitually in subjection to Him, to reject our own strength, and to deny ourselves, is not this the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us at all times?