Then Jesus adds this: |Learn of Me.| I used to wonder just what that means. But I think I know a part of its meaning now. You remember the Hebrews had a scheme of qualified slavery. A man might sell his service for six years but at the end of that time he was scot-free. On the New Year's morning of the seventh year he was given his full liberty, and given some grain and oil to begin life with anew.
But if on that morning he found himself reluctant to leave, all his ties binding him to his master's home, this was the custom among them. He would say to his master, |I don't want to leave you. This is home to me. I love you and the mistress. I love the place. All my ties and affections are here. I want to stay with you always.| His master would say, |Do you mean this?| |Yes,| the man would reply, |I want to belong to you forever.|
Then his master would call in the leading men of the village or neighborhood to witness the occurrence. And he would take his servant out to the door of the home, and standing him up against the door-jamb would pierce the lobe of his ear through with an awl. I suppose like a shoemaker's awl. Then the man became not his slave, but his bond-slave, forever. It was a personal surrender of himself to his master; it was voluntary; it was for love's sake; it was for service; it was after a trial; it was for life.
Now that was what Jesus did. If you will turn to that Fortieth Psalm, from which we read, you will find words that are plainly prophetic of Jesus, and afterwards quoted as referring to Him. |Mine ears hast Thou opened, or digged or pierced for me.| And in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah, revised version, are these words likewise prophetic of Jesus. |The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away backward. 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 the truth is this. May the Spirit of God burn it deep into our hearts. Jesus was a surrendered Man. Stop a bit and think into what that means. Jesus is the giant Man of the human race, thought of just now as a man, though He was so much more, too. In His wisdom as a teacher, His calm poised judgment, the purity of His life, the tremendous power of His personality in swaying man, He clear overtops the whole race of men. Now that Master Man, that giant of the race, was a surrendered Man. For instance run through John's Gospel, and pick out the negatives on His lips, the |nots.| Not His own will, nor His own words, nor His own teaching, nor His own works. Jesus came to earth to do Somebody's else will. With all His giant powers He was utterly absorbed in doing what some One else wished done. And now this giant Man, this surrendered Man, says, |You do as I have done. Learn of Me: I am wholly given up to doing My Father's will. You be wholly surrendered to Me, and so together we will carry out the Father's will.|
Some one of a practical turn says, |That sounds very nice, but is it not a bit fanciful? The lobe of Jesus' ear was not pierced through, was it?| No. You are right. The scar-mark of Jesus' surrender was not in His ear, as with the old Hebrew slave. You are quite right. It was in His cheek, and brow, on His back, in His side and hands and feet. The scar-marks of His surrender were -- are -- all over His face and form. Everybody who surrenders bears some scar of it because of sin, his own or somebody's else. Referring to the suffering endured in service Paul tenderly reckons it as a mark of Jesus' ownership -- |I bear the scars, the stigmata, of the Lord Jesus.| Even of the Master Himself is this so.
And that scarred Jesus whose body told and tells of His surrender to His Father comes to us. And with those hands eagerly outstretched, and eyes beaming with the earnestness of His great passion for men, He says, |Yoke up with Me, please. Let Me have the control of all your splendid powers, in carrying out our Father's will for a world.|