Matthew 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.(KJV)
I am reading a book by Andrew Murray called “Humility.” It is an awesome read and I recommend it to everyone. I see this verse in the text and I feel like God wants me to investigate what the phrase “learn of me” really means. So off I go. This gets really good so don’t run away since I am going to go Greek on you.
Here is what I discovered. The word “learn” means, well you can guess it, to learn. Yep it is translated 24 of 25 times as learn. The Greek word is manthano (G3129) if you must know and is an origin word (doesn’t come from something else). The word “of” actually means “of the place whence anything is, comes, befalls, is taken.” Or in the Greek apo (G575) and is an origin word. The word “me” means me or mine and is the Greek word emou (G1700). This is where it gets really interesting. The older lexicons say it is from the word machthos or G3449 which comes from the word mogis or G3425. Newer lexicons point to the word ego or G1473. Ego just means I or me. The word machthos or mogis means sadness, painfulness, travail, or with difficulty respectively.
So this is what I feel God was showing me. In the Lance Literal Translation (LLT) you could say this verse means “Let Me balance your load, balance the scales, help you by throwing my weight at your problem but learn about Me, what really makes Me Me so you know I am capable of doing what I say. In my saddest times, when I am hurt the most, when I am in the middle of my most painful effort I am meek and lowly in my heart. Those apparent sufferings don’t get Me worked up at all. I am completely surrendered, yielded and free of my need for fairness even with it looks bad. If you can learn this, you will have peace in your very soul because I am in you and with you. When I throw my weight against your problem, it is with the power of heaven working through the most humbled man who ever walked the Earth.”
The Holy Spirit says by Paul in Philippians 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Andrew Murray says it this way “He resigned Himself with His will and His powers entirely for the Father to work in Him. His humility was simply the surrender of Himself to God, to allow Him to do in Him what He pleased, whatever men around might say of Him, or do to Him.”
Paul says this is Philippians ch 3:
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
“Murray says this: “Jesus the meek and lowly One, calls us to learn of Him the path to God. Let us study the words we have been reading, until our heart is filled with the thought: My one need is humility. And let us believe that what He shows, He gives: what He is, He imparts. As the meek and lowly One, He will come in and dwell in the longing heart.”
True humility is divine and from God. It is not something that can be taught or learned. It can only be imparted. I can’t condition myself to have a humble response and suppress pride. That just becomes another exercise of self. When we do that we become the center of our universe. When we teach that, we become the distraction from the divine source. Jesus gives us exactly what we need if we are willing to receive and put away our need for control. We have to remove the thing that is contrary to divine humility. We only need to follow His example. What did He do? He surrendered any right to fairness. He trusted His Father completely. He was totally sold out for God’s purpose and will, and was filled with the Holy Spirit in constant communion with His Father.
When the desire for justice meets the selfish of self, a desire for fairness is born. God’s version of fairness looks like His Son on a tree, unmerited favor, dying for those who reject Him. Why? God has perfect justice. Jesus paid it all. It is finished. Our will, our desire, our need for fairness says we don’t trust God for His provision, His protection, His blessing. Our need for fairness says “God can’t get it right, He doesn’t understand my problem, I need results now, my plan is better than His.” Can you see that when you give up the right for fairness you are trusting God completely? Can you see that living from that surrendered place makes us “the nothing” to usher in “the ALL” of God? That is divine humility and Jesus has plenty for us. Our greatest joy is to live in the way we were created; completely dependent on a loving God who is the ALL of our lives.
So the Greek stuff about Matt 11:29 may be a typo or clerical error, but it is no mistake!