"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Savior's Tender Invitation (11:28-30)
INTRODUCTION 1. In the text for our study today, we find a wonderful invitation extended by Jesus... "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) 2. From heaven Jesus still offers this tender invitation; but do we really understand and appreciate... a. To whom Jesus extends this invitation? b. What He offers to those who will accept it? c. What He expects from those who desire to respond? d. The true ease of accepting this invitation? [These are some of the questions we shall consider as we examine what has been called "The Savior's Tender Invitation"...] I. TO WHOM DOES JESUS EXTEND THIS INVITATION? A. "ALL YOU WHO LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN..." 1. To those who are burdened by sin a. A burden which separates one from God - cf. Isa 59:1-2 b. A burden with terrible side effects 1) A lack of inner peace - Isa 48:22 2) Instead, one is burdened with anxiety, depression, fear and doubt 3) And rightly so, in view of the ultimate consequence of sin (spiritual death) - Ro 6:23a 2. This invitation, then, is really for everyone! a. For all are sinners! - Ro 3:23,10 b. And as such are in bondage to sin and its heavy burden - Jn 8:34 B. SADLY, MANY ARE TOO PROUD TO ADMIT THEIR BURDEN... 1. That they are sinners 2. That they are enslaved by sin and its burden 3. That they need Divine help to freed from the burden of sin [If you are not too proud to face the fact that you are a sinner and need Divine help, then "The Savior's Tender Invitation" is especially designed for you! But perhaps you wonder...] II. WHAT IS JESUS OFFERING? A. "I WILL GIVE YOU REST...YOU WILL FIND REST FOR
YOUR SOULS" 1. Jesus is offering rest for our souls! 2. Souls which have been burdened by: a. The guilt of sin, which separates from God (i.e., legal guilt) b. The side effects of sin, such as anxiety, depression, fear and doubt (i.e., emotional guilt) B. JESUS OFFERS REST... 1. Which includes a removal of the guilt of sin! a. For by God's own love and grace, forgiveness of sin is now possible through Jesus - cf. Ro 5:8-9; 1Jn 4:10; Ep 1:7 b. Through His own blood, Jesus frees us from the condemnation of sin - Ro 8:1 2. Which includes a removal of the side effects of sin! a. To have true rest for our souls, we need more than just forgiveness 1) For even those forgiven may be plagued by the side effects of sin 2) Having lived so long under the burden of sin, it may not be easy to lay aside those feelings which often accompany sin (e.g., anxiety, fear, doubt) b. Jesus certainly provides what our souls need... 1) To remove anxiety, Jesus offers peace to calm the troubled heart a) A peace unlike any that the world might give - Jn 14:27 b) A peace stronger than any tribulation the world might bring - Jn 16:33 c) A peace which guards our hearts and minds, and "surpasses all understanding" - Php 4:7 2) To remove depression, Jesus offers joy to lift our spirits a) The same joy Jesus Himself had - Jn 15:11 b) A joy later described as "inexpressible" - 1Pe 1:8 3) To remove fear, Jesus offers love which casts out fear- 1Jn 4:18 a) The same love which exists between the Father and the Son - Jn 15:9 b) A love which "passes knowledge" - Ep 3:19 4) To remove doubt, Jesus offers hope for facing the future a) By assuring us of eternal life - Jn 11:25 b) By promising eternal rest to those who die in the Lord - Re 14:13 [I have not exhausted all that pertains to the wonderful rest Jesus offers, but it is... * A rest from the burden of sin's guilt, and a rest from the burden of sin's side effects! * A rest for our burdened souls now, and eternal rest for our souls when we die! Incidentally, even physical burdens are made lighter by coming to Jesus, because the soul is made stronger to bear them! This sounds wonderful, but...] III. WHAT DOES JESUS EXPECT OF THOSE WHO WISH TO
RESPOND? A. "COME TO ME..." 1. This is easy, even though Jesus is "King of kings and Lord of lords" 2. For as He says, "I am gentle and lowly in heart" a. He is so gentle, children felt comfortable in His presence (cf. Mt 18:2) b. He is so lowly in heart, the common people heard Him gladly (cf. Mk 12:37) -- As prophesied, Jesus would be tender and sensitive to our needs ("A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench" - Isa 42:3; Mt 12:20) B. "TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU..." 1. "In Jewish literature a 'yoke' represents the sum-total of obligations which, according to the teaching of the rabbis, a person must take upon himself." - William Hendriksen (Matthew, New Testament Commentary) 2. Jesus is therefore expecting those who desire the rest He offers to: a. Accept His teachings b. Accept whatever obligations He would lay upon you C. "...AND LEARN FROM ME" 1. This is how we learn what obligations He would place upon us 2. We must be willing to listen to Him, and do whatever He says - cf. Lk 6:46-49 [In essence, "The Savior's Tender Invitation" is a call to discipleship: to commit your life as a disciple of Jesus, committed to learning from Him and accepting the obligations He places upon you (i.e., "His yoke"). This might prompt one to ask...] IV. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO ACCEPT THIS INVITATION? A. AS JESUS TAUGHT ELSEWHERE, IT DOES REQUIRE... 1. That we observe all that He commanded - Mt 28:19-20 2. That we abide in His doctrine (teaching) - Jn 8:31 B. BUT AS STATED HERE, "MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY
BURDEN IS LIGHT" 1. John, who was a disciple for over fifty years, said: "His commandments are not grievous" - 1Jn 5:3 2. What helps lighten our burden is the strength Jesus Himself gives - Php 2:12-13; 4:13 -- Certainly the burden Jesus places upon us is lighter than the burden sin lays upon us! CONCLUSION 1. Do you desire the rest for your soul that is offered by "The Savior's Tender Invitation"? a. Then come to Jesus in full obedience to His gospel b. Commit to becoming His disciple, learning from Him all that He commanded 2. As suggested in Mt 28:19-20, this life of discipleship begins with baptism... a. For in baptism we put on Christ - Ga 3:27 b. For in baptism we rise to walk in newness of life - Ro 6:3-4 As one rises from the watery grave of baptism, they are freed from the burden of sin through the precious blood of Christ. As they continue to observe all that He commanded, their burden becomes even lighter as they apply to their lives the wisdom Jesus taught. Have you accepted the yoke of Jesus? Are you living under that yoke?
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016