I want to do a bit of a series over the next few weeks—I’m not sure how long—dealing with the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, broadly speaking) to bring before you some of the compelling words and conversations of our Lord Jesus. I think you can’t improve on Him as the subject, no way. So His person, His work, His word in some very unique settings is going to be our pattern for the next number of weeks. And to begin that, I want to draw your attention to Matthew 11, verses 25 to 30. Matthew 11, verses 25 to 30. Part of this will be very familiar to you. But let me read those verses.
Matthew 11:25, “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’”
Our Lord has something to say to you this morning. Essentially, it starts in verse 28 with the invitation, “Come to Me.” “Come to Me.” Those are His words that have been ringing off the pages of Scripture since it was written, words of tender compassion, words of invitation, words of priceless value. This is His gracious invitation, and this is an expression of His mission. In Luke 19:10 He said, “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save the lost.” That’s His mission. He’s come to seek and save the lost.
That has always been God’s mission. You can go back into the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Listen to the words from heaven in Isaiah 55: “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you.” Then down in verse 6 of the same chapter, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” That is a series of invitations by God to come to Him. God is by nature a Savior. Paul says He’s “the Savior of all men, especially those who believe.”
The mission of God in the world is a salvation mission. It’s not about social change, it’s about eternal life. And the Messiah came to fulfill that mission; to provide the necessary sacrifice to make the mission possible by which sinners could be forgiven. But His mission was the same as His Father’s: to call people to come to Him. And as you heard in reading that passage, He describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart.” That’s the heart of the evangelist, Jesus: “gentle and humble in heart.”
If you go over one chapter to Matthew chapter 12 and verse 18, you read a text that basically comes from Isaiah 42. So this is an Old Testament text; it’s an Old Testament evangelistic text repeated in the New Testament to remind us again that the purpose of God in the Old Testament was the same as it is in the New Testament, that is, to invite sinners to come to Him for salvation.
Isaiah 42, and in this case being quoted in Matthew 12, verse 18, “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen”—this is the Father referring to the Son—“My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice”—or “righteousness,” or “judgment”—“to the nations. He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice”—or “righteousness”—“to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”
That is a marvelous Old Testament passage, and what it says is that God wants to save the Gentiles, and that He’s going to do it, and that begins in verse 18 and it ends in verse 21 with the salvation of the nations. That is God’s purpose in the world.
Salvation will come to the world. It will not come by a violent revolution. He’s not going to “cry out . . . in the streets.” This isn’t going to be some kind of revolution. And it’s not going to come by force, verse 20: “A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out.” He’s not going to take advantage of those who are weak. Salvation will come, but it will come with tender compassion. And our Lord, here in Matthew 12:18, says He is, essentially, the fulfillment of that text in Isaiah, “come to seek and save the lost.”
His message was always the same: “Come to Me.” In John 6:35, “Come to Me and never again hunger.” In John 7:37, “Come to Me and never again thirst.” In John 8:12, “Come to Me and never again walk in darkness.” In John 11:25, “Come to Me and never die.” But “come to Me.” And in our passage it is, “Come to Me, and I will give you rest. Come and find rest.”
Now we understand the dictionary definition of “rest.” It can mean to cease from work. It can mean to be free from fear or worry. It can refer to a settled or fixed condition: something at rest. It can also have reference to confidence: that you rest your case. It can also mean to depend on, to lean on. All of those things. It’s a word that has far-reaching meaning even in our temporal English language.
But what does it mean in God’s vocabulary? What is He talking about here? He’s not really talking about the things that we assume are rest. It’s a synonym for salvation. It’s a synonym for salvation. It is the rest that comes to the soul that has been forgiven and given eternal life. That is why He calls it “rest for your souls.”
And we saw that, didn’t we, in the text that I read earlier from Hebrews chapter 4. The rest that the writer of Hebrews is talking about is salvation rest, and he says that there were people in the time of Moses and there were people in the time of Joshua who were offered salvation rest pictured by entering into the Promised Land, pictured by responding to God in obedience. And the nation Israel’s history, they just kept turning it down. They kept on in their disobedience, they kept on in their evil; and Hebrews 4 says they didn’t enter into rest.
So the writer of Hebrews is reminding every generation since he wrote that the rest of God, the salvation of God is still available for all who will come in faith and receive it. And God’s rest, this salvation rest, can’t come through a leader—not even Moses, not even Joshua. It can only come through Jesus Christ. And it’s the rest that is received by faith. It’s not a rest that you receive by works, it’s a rest that you are given by faith. So we want you to think this morning of salvation as rest, and I’ll explain more about that as we go.
In Revelation 14 and verse 13, we read, “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, ‘Write, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!”’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.’” “Blessed are the dead,” for “they . . . rest.” We’re talking about a rest that’s after you’ve left this vale of tears, this world. It’s eternal rest. It’s salvation.
Now with that in general, let’s go back to verse 25 because this passage is so remarkable, I don’t want you to miss a thing. Verse 25 says, “At that time”—or “at that occasion”—“Jesus said.” What did he mean “at that time”? Where are we in Jesus’ life and ministry? That’s a timestamp we need to understand; it has vital significance to the interpretation of this text.
So we’re in Galilee. Jesus has completed His Galilean ministry. The mighty deeds have been done. Many, many, many miracles; undeniable, public miracles; evidence, clear evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, their long-awaited King, and that He is God incarnate, because only God could do what He did and say what He said. So we are at the end of the Galilee ministry.
In chapter 10, He commissioned His apostles to proclaim the message of the kingdom. In chapters 11 and 12, we start to pick up the response. What is their response to Jesus, and what is their response, in Galilee, to the apostles and the seventy? That’s essentially what you find in chapters 11 and 12.
And if you want to know what their response was, all you need to do is look at verse 19: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” That was their assessment. That was the assessment and the attitude of the Jews of Galilee toward the Son of God after He had completed His miraculous ministry there. The attitude in Galilee was really a taste of the full rejection that He would soon receive from the entire nation. Initial popularity had turned to fierce opposition.
Galilee rejected Him; and to see the severity of that rejection, go to verse 20: “Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.” After all those miracles, all those words from heaven, they didn’t repent.
As a result of that, the cities of Galilee receive a curse: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes”—“You’re worse than the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon.” “Nevertheless I say to you, it’ll be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum”—where many of His miracles were done—“you will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
Sodom was destroyed in a fiery, divine fury for the aggressive sin of homosexuality. Sodom was the worst imaginable kind of place. Nobody in Chorazin, Bethsaida, or Capernaum would advocate homosexuality; and yet their judgment is going to be worse, not because of the sins they committed but because of the Savior they rejected. So what is the verdict on Jesus in Galilee? “He’s a gluttonous man, He’s a drunkard, He’s a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” That was their verdict; and a curse was pronounced on them.
Amazingly, it is in this context that we come to verse 25; and it just seems like it’s completely out of sequence because at that time, at the time when He has just pronounced judgment on Galilee on the cities, He said, “I praise You, Father.” Now, He’s speaking openly; He’s speaking publicly. He starts this evangelistic effort with prayer, open public prayer. It’s open, public affirmation of His oneness with the eternal God: “I praise You, Father.”
How is that possible? We would understand if He said, “Father, what went wrong? How did this happen? Was there some failure in strategy? Did You not take into consideration that I needed some divine support in this effort? How did it turn out this way?”
He doesn’t say that. He said, “I praise You, Father. I praise You”—why? “[Because You are] Lord of heaven and earth. Nothing happens that isn’t under Your control. You’re the Creator of the universe, heaven and earth. Not only are You the Creator of all that exists, but You are the possessor of all that exists.” Deuteronomy 10:14, “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” He not only made it, He owns it, He possesses it.
And Jesus knows that the Father hides things from the wise and intelligent, verse 25, and has revealed them to infants. In other words, the only possible way for anyone to respond to the message of Jesus would be if the Father revealed it to that person. I thought about titling this message “Jesus Was a Calvinist.”
The Son of God knows that the Father hides and the Father reveals. Yes, God is by nature a Savior; He’s “the Savior of all men, especially those who believe,” 1 Timothy 4:10. But He chooses who will be saved, and He has chosen to pass by “the wise and intelligent” and give His divine revelation, His saving revelation, to those who would be considered the lowlifes: the “infants,” nēpios, tiny babies. This is remarkable, but this is the foundation of all evangelism: the knowledge that what is going to happen is dependent upon the sovereign call of God.
Look over at 1 Corinthians chapter 1, 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 18. A few verses here that you’re familiar with: “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” Those who are in the category of the “perishing” find the message of the cross and gospel “foolishness,” those who are in the category of the “saved” find it “the power of God.” So it really—your response really depends on what group you’re in. If you’re in the perishing, it’s foolishness; if you’re in the being saved group, it’s the power of God.
Man in his own wisdom, verse 19, can’t access salvation truth: “‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” God chose to save some and not others.
Who did He choose? Verse 26, “Consider your calling”—that is a saving call, an effectual call, a call that results in actual salvation—“your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh”—it’s not the elite, it’s not the intellectuals, it’s not the brilliant people—“not many mighty”—that means they’re powerful—“not many noble”—high born—“God [on the other hand] has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and [God has chosen] the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not”—the nobodies—“so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”
God has chosen those whom society would think are on the lowest level. They’re not particularly wise or brilliant; they’re not the rich, the mighty, the powerful—just the opposite. And God has done that “so that no man may boast before God.” Verse 31 says if you’re going to boast, you have to boast only in the Lord.
Now you can go back to the text in Matthew, and you’ll see the significance of the end of verse 25: “Father . . . You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” “These things”—what does that mean? Things concerning the King and the kingdom, truth concerning His messiahship, His lordship, His work as Savior. These are not available to unconverted people. First Corinthians 2:14, the natural man understands not the things of God; they are spiritually discerned, and he is spiritually dead.
But on the other hand, while human wisdom doesn’t access salvation truth, God reveals it. And He “has chosen”—He’s made the choice—to choose not the wise and the intelligent. Essentially those two terms define a class of people; and I believe there’s some sarcasm in that. Those who think they can trust in themselves and their own wisdom and their own ability to reason, they can come to the truth of their human minds. He bypasses those people. This would be the Jewish people. This would be the rabbis and the priests and the scribes and the Pharisees, who were too wise and too intelligent and too elevated for the foolishness of the cross of Christ. The Lord makes a distinction, and He has chosen the lowly.
Listen to John chapter 12, verse 37: “But though He had performed so many signs”—so many miracles—“before them, yet they were not believing in Him.” That’s what we’ve been saying. “This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ For this reason they could not believe, because Isaiah said, ‘He has blinded their eyes, hardened their heart, so they would not see with their eyes, perceive with their heart, be converted and I heal them.’” Amazing. God makes a choice, and God chose to save the lowly. Our Lord understood that; He had no problem with that. He had no issue with God being God, God being sovereign.
It’s not condemning intellectual ability. It’s not condemning anything but, really, intellectual pride. It’s not intelligence that shuts you out of the kingdom, it’s pride in that intelligence. It’s not intelligence that gets you into the kingdom, it’s humility. Intelligence itself is neither a way in or a barrier; but pride in your intelligence, in your wisdom, will keep you out because humility is the way in. Listen to Psalm 138:6, “Though the Lord be high, yet has He respect to the lowly: but the proud He knows afar off.” He keeps His distance, and He chooses to save the humble.
It’s really a thing for the lips of our Lord to affirm God’s sovereign choice. And consistently through Scripture the ones that He chooses appear as the meek and the humble. Think of the Beatitudes. Who enters the kingdom? Blessed are the meek, poor in spirit, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Spiritually they’re those who recognize their dependency, recognize their helplessness, their emptiness, their nothingness, deeply aware that they have nothing to commend them to God, no resources for life but in a plea; they can only cry out for mercy.
The difference between the wise and the infants is not so much intellect as the product of that intellect—those who think they are smart enough to access divine truth on their own and those who know they’re not. But God has made a choice, and He’s chosen mostly humble people who have nothing to commend themselves.
Psalm 34:2, “The humble shall hear and be glad.” Proverbs 22:4, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.” James 4:6, “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.”
Listen to Isaiah 57:15, “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to give rest’”—salvation rest—“‘to the spirit of the humble, and to give rest to the heart of the contrite.’” You see an illustration of that in Luke 18, where the Pharisee and the publican, in the story that Jesus said, come to pray. And the Pharisee says, “I thank You that I’m not like other men. I do all these religious duties.” And the publican is pounding on his chest saying, “I’ve nothing to commend myself. God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” And Jesus said, “That’s the man who went home justified.”
Humility is required. Matthew 18, you can’t even enter the kingdom unless you come as a little child, totally dependent. Isaiah 66:2, God says, “I look to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, who trembles at My word.” It’s the lowly.
Notice the next verse, verse 26, this is amazing: “Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” That is a very short verse, as you see, very short sentence, intended to answer a very big question: Why did God decide to choose some and not others? Why did God choose the lowly rather than the lofty? Why is salvation from God based on His sovereign electing purpose? Here’s our Lord’s answer: “This way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” That’s all you get; that’s it. Because He wanted to do it that way, He did it that way.
You might have expected a long answer, a paragraph or a few pages, trying to explain the doctrine of election and why God has done what He has done. But our Lord understood that it was this way because that’s the way God was pleased to do it; and God is God. That’s so deep and so profound. And if there’s one question that comes every time you have a question and answer, it is the question of, Why did God choose some people and not other people? And is that fair, and is that right? And are we sure that’s the plan? “Yes,” Jesus said, “it’s the way He does it; and He does it that way because it pleased Him to do it. That’s enough.” He is sovereign.
And then Jesus says, “And I want you to know I’m in on it”—verse 27—“I’m in on it”: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father”—“we know each other intimately as members of the Trinity”—“nor does anyone know the Father except the Son.” What He’s saying there is, “We are in perfect agreement.” And at the end of verse 27, He says, “No one knows . . . the Father except . . . [the one] to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” “The Father reveals to whom He will because that’s well-pleasing to Him; and I am in perfect agreement with that, and I reveal the truth to those whom I will.”
He has all authority. There’s no diminishing in Christ compared to the Father. “The Father has handed over to Me all things, all things.” Matthew 28:18, “All authority is given to Me in heaven and on earth.” In chapter 4 we saw that He was given authority over Satan; in chapter 8, authority over demons; chapter 9, authority over illness; chapter 8, authority over elements; chapter 9 again, authority over body and soul, life and death; chapter 10, authority over the disciples; chapter 9 again, authority to save; chapter 7, authority to judge. “All authority” He possesses, equal to the Father. “All things”: earth, heaven, hell, men, angels, devils, time, death, eternity. “All things”: salvation, damnation, grace, judgment, life, and death. “All things”: truth, righteousness, glory, peace, joy, comfort, refreshing, hope, deliverance from sin, victory over temptation, overcoming the world, communion with God, the love of God, the life of God, and even eternal rest. They all come from Christ, who operates in perfect harmony with the Father. This is the plan. In other words, the knowledge of God’s Son is perfect knowledge of the Father’s plan, and His will harmonizes perfectly.
Luther, Martin Luther said, “Here the bottom falls out of all merit, all powers and abilities of reason or the free will men dream of, and it all counts nothing before God.” Christ must give everything, everything. No other way can a poor sinner know salvation. Salvation, then, is a meeting of a humble, dependent, lowly, helpless sinner, exposed to the revelation of God, not merely externally but internally, by the gracious, sovereign will of the God, who has chosen him so that he sees the truth and embraces the truth.
Jesus said in John 6, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,” verse 37. But in verse 40, He also said, “Whoever comes, I’ll receive.” I want you to put those two together, because verse 28 looks like it must be a mistake.
After what we’ve just read in verses 25 to 27, how can Jesus say, “Come to Me, all”? How can that be there—“all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”? From the divine side, it’s all of God; from our side, it’s all who come. You ought to be glad that you can’t harmonize that, because then you’d be God, and we’d be in lots of trouble. Amazing! In the midst of such absolute statements about salvation being by the revelation of God to certain people, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I’ll give you rest.”
What do you mean, “weary”? It implies toil, the weary search for the truth, the crushing load of guilt, a badgering conscience fruitlessly trying to be righteous, right; trying to earn your salvation with some religious ceremony. That’s hard work; that’s a toil that never pays a dividend. So if you’re sick of making effort to earn salvation, Jesus says, “Come to Me.”
Or if you’re “heavy-laden”—what does that mean? It implies that somebody has loaded on you a massive burden of laws and traditions and ceremonies that overpowers you, and it’s so hard to carry. As Matthew 23:4, our Lord said this is what the Jewish leader do: They pile burdens on you, and they don’t move a finger to help you carry the load. Peter put it this way; he declared, “This is a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear,” Acts 15.
If you’re sick of carrying the weight of formal works righteousness, self-achievement, religion; if you’re just sick of guilt, emptiness, lies, “Come to Me.” The good news is you don’t have to figure out what’s gone on in the eternal decree, you just need to come. If you’re dissatisfied with where you are, if you don’t have the answer and you know it, if you’re tired of trying to be a better person, if you’re tired of trying to live up to religious expectations, moral expectations, if you’re overpowered by the burden of sin, “Come to Me,” “come to Me.” Is that simple enough? “Come to Me.”
If you’re out of personal resources, if you’re desperate and willing to turn from yourself and your sin to God, Jesus says, “Come to Me.” “Come to Me.” This is really repentance. You’re turning from sin. The humble heart sees the futility of self-effort, sees the weight of sin and the oppressive burden and anxiety of religion, and in complete exhaustion, collapsing under the load, cries, hungering and thirsting for grace and mercy, publican pounding, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” You don’t need to worry about the divine part of it; you’ve been given an invitation. This is personal, and this is from Jesus, and this is why He came. When you get to that point of humble exhaustion, “Come to Me,” He said.
What do You mean, “Come to Me”? Well, that’s faith, that’s faith. “Come to Me, because you believe that I can give you the water of life and the bread of life and life itself. Come to Me, because you believe that I can give you what you lack—the truth and righteousness and forgiveness. Come to Me, because you now know, you now know that we’re not saved by works, but by grace. Come to Me, because there’s no one else to come to. There’s no salvation in any other.” So take a humble heart, exhausted with the effort to find his way to truth and salvation, touched by sovereign grace in which he comes to comprehend the truth of the gospel, eagerly turns from sin and comes to Christ, declares Christ as Savior and Lord—total commitment to Him.
Is that enough? Well, it is. But there’s one more thing that has to be understood. Verse 29, “After you have come to Me with all your weariness and heavy-laden burdens, you exchange those for My yoke upon you and learn from Me.” That’s a command. “Take My yoke.”
You know, I think Jesus probably made a lot of yokes when He was a carpenter. In Palestine, yokes were made out of wood. The ox were brought, measurements were made, the yoke was roughed out, the ox was brought back, and it was finished so that it perfectly fitted the ox or the team of oxen.
What is a yoke? Well, the Jews used this phrase. The yoke means submission. So what you’re saying in this salvation is that, “I am submitting everything to You, everything, in a way that can actually be described as wearing a yoke.”
In some Jewish circles that was a common phrase. To “take a yoke” meant to be one of the followers of a certain teacher. And the Lord is saying, “Let Me be your teacher.” See it there? “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,” mathētēs, “Be My disciple.” That’s why the good words of Matthew 28 in the Great Commission are so strong on the issue of submission and obedience. You remember those words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” There’s repentance, there’s faith, and there’s submission. The submission doesn’t save you; the submission is part of the willingness. It’s the transformation that then begins to produce the obedience.
“Well, this is just another yoke.” Yes, but notice what He said: “You’re going to like My yoke, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” How beautiful is that. “It won’t be like the yoke you’ve been wearing; I’m gentle and humble in heart.” He will not oppress you. First John 5:3 says, “His commandments are not burdensome,” they are joyous.
In fact, we obey Him because we love Him. Didn’t He say that? “If you love Me”—what?—“keep My commandments.” Unlike the yoke of the Pharisees, the yoke of Jesus fit—it didn’t rub wrong; it didn’t chafe. The yoke of the law, the yoke of works—human effort, the heavy, grinding, galling yoke of large, unbearable burden, carried in the flesh that leads to despair, frustration, and anxiety. Jesus offers a yoke that leads to rest. All your burdens are gone. One person said, “My yoke has become my song.”
And we do that, right? We’ve been singing all morning, and we’ve been singing about complete devotion to God and to Christ. And you sang with joy, did you not?
We don’t function under a heavy burden of the sinner’s yoke; this is a very light yoke, verse 30: “My yoke is easy, My burden is light.” Humble submission to Christ makes life light.
So a humble heart broken over the despairs of life and the weight of sin is touched by the truth and sovereign grace. The heart opens, repents of sin, believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, comes to Him, acknowledges Him as Savior and Lord, submits his life. And what is the result of all that? The end of verse 28: “I will give you”—what?—“rest.” The end of verse 29: “You will find rest for your souls.” I can’t think of anything better than that. Soul rest is wonderful, isn’t it?
That little statement at the end of verse 29, “You will find rest for your souls,” comes from Jeremiah 6:16, just to remind you that God offered the same rest in the Old Testament, made possible through Christ. Soul rest, eternal rest, heavenly rest—that’s what Jesus offers. It’s personal with Him, and it’s for anyone who “[Comes] to Me.” Let’s pray.
Lord, I do pray that in Your mercy and grace You will open the eyes of people today, that You will cause them to see. Open their ears; cause them to hear. Open their hearts; cause them to repent, believe, and submit; to run to You for rest, to give up the weariness of sin and the weariness of false religion for the rest that comes from Christ. Those of us who know You understand every day, every waking moment, how compassionate You are, O God, how tender, how kind, how merciful. We know You come down to care for us and to extend sympathy to us, because You showed it when You were here in this world. You suffered the things that we suffer so that You might be a sympathetic High Priest, one that we can come to and find a throne of grace, not of law, and know that we can receive grace in time of need.
We rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory to wear Your yoke. It is easy, the burden is light, because You are in us by Your Holy Spirit, empowering us. We have Your Word to enlighten us, we have Your people to minister to us, and we have all the wealth of heaven poured out on our behalf. And You are a perfect, loving, compassionate, gracious, and merciful Lord and Savior; and we rejoice to serve You, and shall always, one day in perfection.
But until then, we thank You for the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light, as You essentially carry them for us. Open hearts even this day, we pray, for Your glory. Amen.
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