Are You That Witness Series – Matthew 11:28-30
Intro: Does the word "weary” ever describe your life? Do you ever feel like you have reached the end of your rope and there simply isn't enough rope left with which to tie a knot? These are the kinds of people Jesus is addressing in these verses. This chapter deals with the doubts of John the Baptist, the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, and the wickedness of the cities where Jesus had been preaching. He has been surrounded by those who are wearied either with their vain efforts at religion, or their equally vain struggles against sin. These are people who need to know that Jesus has presented an invitation that offers rest.
I remember in the early 90’s Ray Boltz a gospel song writer made well known a song that was entitled: “The Anchor Holds.” Some of those lyrics of that song still speak to me today; The anchor holds thou the ship is battered, the anchor holds thou the sails are torn. I have fallen down on my knees because I face the raging seas, but the anchor holds in spite of the storm… Christ is that anchor and in spite of the storms His relationship will never let go. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” If you are one of those who are weary: “HE WILL GIVE YOU REST!”
‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Text: Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Application: His yoke is easier.
When a yoke is first placed on the shoulders of the ox, the ox will rebel against the yoke. It doesn't quiet feel right. However, when he surrenders to the yoke and puts his shoulders to the task of pulling his burden, he finds that the yoke make the job of pulling the burden much easier than it would have been otherwise. There is a lesson here for you and me! We should all strive to yield to the yoke Jesus has designed for us to wear. It may not feel right when we are first exposed to it and we may want to buck and kick against it, but if we will surrender to it, we will find that it may actually make our lives easier than they would have been otherwise. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Jesus was trained as a carpenter. In those days, carpenters didn't build houses and bookshelves. Carpenters usually spent their time building farm implements. In other words, Jesus must have carved out a lot of ox yoke as He was growing up there in Nazareth. Now, as our Savior, He is still carving out individualized, perfectly fitting yoke for each of His children.
1. The Invitation to Salvation: vs. 28
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
This invitation is a plea Jesus delivers; it is the essence of salvation! Salvation is coming to Jesus! It is not coming to a church, a creed, a man, a denomination, an altar, a baptistery, a new way of living, Salvation is coming to Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV)
He invites “All” — anyone who sees their need of a Savior can come to Jesus and they will be saved, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.’ John 6:37 Come to Jesus! That’s the call, the invitation.
This invitation describes the people He invites; He is referring to those He has been dealing with in this chapter. Some are struggling under the burden of doubt, the yoke of religious legalism, and the bondage of sin. He wants them all to know that they can have rest! If only they accept His invitation.
This invitation declares a promise; a promise of rest, quietness, calmness, peace, and even refreshment. All those who come to Jesus are given rest. “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40:31
2. The Command to Surrender: vs. 29a
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me"
We recently started a new Bible Study using Kyle Idleman’s “Not A Fan” material. In this study there is a reality check with a question that is asked; are you’re a fan of Jesus or are you a completely, committed follower of Jesus?
Salvation always precedes surrender. Can't live like a married man until you are married. After you are saved, you should live like a saved person completely committed. A yoke is a wooden implement designed to allow two oxen to pull a load together. It harnesses the power of both beasts to the load they are attempting to move. The image of the yoke was also used to speak of submitting to the instructions of a teacher.
We must surrender to a person; Jesus wants us to surrender to His control in our lives. He desires that we bow to His authority. He has the right to demand this: “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (HCSB) Does He have the reigns to your life?
We must surrender to a partnership; Jesus is saying, “Get in the yoke with me.” He is not calling us to walk alone; He is calling us to walk with Him. He knows that we cannot live this life on our own. He goes with us and enables us to live for Him as we yield to His control in our lives, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” We are not in this thing alone! True rest in the Christian life comes from surrendering to His control.
3. The Challenge to Serve. Vs. 29b-30
“For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Our Pattern in Service; should come from His example. Jesus tells us to look at His example. He is gentle and humble, completely yielded to the Father's will. Jesus was sent to this world to serve. While we are not saved by works, we are clearly saved to work. The word “learn” is the same word that is translated “disciple”. Jesus is looking for people who will lay everything on the line as He did and serve Him with no reservations: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
Our Peace in Service; When we trust Jesus by faith, we are given rest. When we serve Him faithfully, we find rest. There is a rest that gives us peace with God and peace of soul. There is a rest that comes from serving Him. There is a joy, a fulfillment, a happiness that can be found nowhere else in life. There is something special about being in the center of His will for your life. If you want true commitment, come to Jesus for salvation, yield to His will for your life and serve Him faithfully. The fullness of peace and rest are found under the burden of His yoke. To be accepted and used of the Lord is a blessing beyond words!
Our Promise in Service; The word “easy” means “fits well”. Jesus was a carpenter. He will design a yoke that will fit us perfectly. His burden is “light”. As we put our shoulder to the path He has chosen for us, there will be burdens along the way. But, we will find that His yoke brings peace, joy, satisfaction and fulfillment and that every difficulty in life is turned to our good by His grace: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” As we walk with Him, we are aware that our trials here will work for our glory there: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
Conclusion: Are you weary and tired from the struggles of life? Are you weary from the storms you have been called to face? Are you worn out from trying to serve Him in the power of your flesh? Are you weary from your burden of sin? There is rest in Jesus for those who will come to Him. Here His words again: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
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