How do you live above the
chances, changes and circumstances in life? Jesus
gives us a grand invitation to come and join Him
where He is at work and receive His rest. Only the
disciple of Jesus can have that kind of rest when
his life is filled with chaos.
Let's keep in mind the
context of this grand paragraph in Matthew 11:25-30.
Judgment awaits those who have had the greatest
opportunity to respond to Christ's ministry, but
have rejected Him. The context of these words deals
with the unreasonable and determined rejection of
both Jesus and John the baptizer by the Jews (vv.
16-19), and the impenitence of the people who live
in the cities where Christ had performed miracles
(vv. 20-24). Those who were rejecting Jesus were
religious teachers and leaders in the Jewish
community. They were wise and intelligent and
acquainted with religious truth. But they were not
humble in spirit. They were arrogant in their
attitude toward God. Jesus said to these people,
"Every one therefore who shall confess Me before
men, I will also confess him before My Father who is
in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I
will also deny him before My father who is in
heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).
OUR POSITION WITH GOD
The Great Exchange
Our salvation was
completed through a great transaction (2 Cor. 5:21;
Rom. 5:8; Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 8:9). Jesus Christ died
in our place on the cross to give us His righteous
standing before the heavenly Father. It is not
something we merit or deserve in any manner. It does
not depend upon our virtue or self-righteousness.
The foundation is the death of Jesus Christ. He died
for me. "God demonstrated His own love toward me, in
that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me"
(Romans 8:5). He chose to die for me and pay my debt
to the righteousness of God. The apostle Paul wrote,
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law,
having become a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). Our
substitute died in our place on the cross (Isa.
The grand transaction
took place the moment you put your faith in Jesus
Christ as your personal Savior. "He [God] made Him
[Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
that we might become the righteousness of God in
Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). When He died on the cross
He died for all of your sins, every one of them. And
when you trusted Him as your Savior you appropriated
all His righteous standing before the Father in
heaven. Now you did not merit that or earn it in any
way. God bestowed that right standing with Himself
by His infinite grace and tender mercy.
We have a new legal
standing before God that can never change. That new
relationship gives us all kinds of privileges and
The moment we believed on
Christ we were united with Christ. This new
relationship with God gives us everything we need to
live the Christian life. With this new relationship
with God we can praise Him even when we hurt and are
PRAISE GOD WHEN
DISCOURAGED (MAT. 11:25-26)
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
How did Jesus
He is our best model of
an intimate walk with God. Jesus spoke to His Father
in an audible voice. In this passage we have a
glimpse of Jesus in one of His modes of worship. It
is at once prayer, praise and intimate fellowship in
a worshipful spirit. His is in precisely the same
mode of elevated communion with the Father that we
have reflected in John chapters 14-17.
He was filled with praise
to the Father (Mat. 11:25a). 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." What are these
"things" that are revealed? They are things
concerning the kingdom of God. The wise and
intelligent, taught, self-sufficient, self-made man
who thinks he can save himself, the Pharisees and
Sadducees, Scribe and Lawyers taught a doctrine of
salvation by meritorious good works. These highly
educated individuals can become a "baby" who humbly
depends upon God’s grace. Even the uneducated person
can be in the same undesirable company of the "wise
and intelligent." It depends on the heart. Am I
humble enough to learn something new, even from some
Those who humbly depend
upon someone else to meet their needs are as
"babes." Those who are conscious of their own
nothingness, emptiness, helplessness and lost
condition and humbly depend absolutely upon God’s
grace to save them are spiritually "little
children." A highly educated, "learned" individual
can be a "babe" in spirit. Jesus is describing
humble people of every rank.
John Broadus said, "The
most useful Christian will be those who are 'wise
and intelligent,' and are also 'babes'––intellectual
and cultivated as possible, but childlike in spirit.
And when the wise and intelligent fail to discover
the significance and value of Christ's teachings, it
is not the fault of their intelligence, but of this
lack of a right spirit." Only the humble of heart
understand the teachings of Christ.
"I praise You, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth." The word "praise" is a
compound word, "I say the same thing," "I agree,"
"concede," or "admit, "thank" and "praise." The
background of the word is to confess and in the
Greek Old Testament was equivalent to give praise.
In this context "thank" or "praise" is most
appropriate. Jesus rested in the absolute supremacy
and will of His Father. Because out of that security
He could praise Him! Jesus made the difficulty of
the moment the occasion for thanksgiving and praise
to the Father who controls the universe and to whom
the universe owes allegiance. When we get God into
the picture our whole perspective changes. Jesus’
Father is the Lord who rules heaven and earth. He is
the Sovereign owner and master of the whole
universe. "My Father, You who are Lord of heaven and
earth, the whole universe, I thank you." What a
great God who is worthy of all our praise!
When Jesus says, "Oh My
Father," or "My Father," He is speaking about His
Father. He does not say "our Father." He was
claiming equality with God (Jn. 5:18). Jesus is
referring to His Father, in a unique Trinitarian and
Messianic sense. This is a different relationship
than the "spiritual" Father of all those who are His
children by adoption who are here designated as
"little children" or "babes." His relationship with
the Father was a unique and special relationship.
John 17 is a good example
of Jesus worshiping the Father in time of extreme
crisis. The context is the night before the
Hidden things (Mat.
Arrogant pride always
alienates us from God. Here it applies especially to
the Scribes and Pharisees and the religious
teachers. It was wisdom and intelligence misused and
perverted. Note how verses 25-30 form a tender
invitation and a sharp contrast to the previous
paragraph of reproach toward the unrepentant cities.
Jesus is preparing His listeners for a loving
Jesus emphasized humble
attitudes. His delight is to see people humbly
trusting in God. God does not delight in sin and
judgment, but calls men to repentance and faith.
Arrogance shuts the door; humility opens it wide.
The Scribes and Pharisees
claimed a sophisticated knowledge of God. They were
the professionals. They had the degrees and superior
knowledge. The true believer had an intimate
knowledge of God in Jesus Christ. The prudent and
wise, the clever and brilliant were ignorant of the
very truths they claimed. The humble stood in a true
knowledge of God.
The apostle Paul came to
the same understanding (1 Cor. 1:21-31). Here Jesus
says children who are dependent upon someone else
for their needs illustrates God’s delight in those
who will humbly depend upon Him. It is in vogue in
our day to proclaim, "God helps those who help
themselves." However, God is a God of grace and He
only helps those who cannot help themselves.
"Blessed are the poor in
spirit" communicates this same sense of humility and
dependence on God. The apostle Paul said, "not many
wise after the flesh," the highly intelligent, "not
many mighty" with great ability and force, and "not
many noble" well-born, well-bred princes understand
spiritual things. "God has chosen the foolish
things," the common insignificant foolish––the
cross, truth, righteousness, the incarnation to
bring salvation to lost mankind.
God's delight is in
communicating His grace to the humble in heart who
have a childlike simple faith in Him. Only those who
are willing to receive it can understand the good
news of Jesus Christ.
"Yes, Father, for this
way was well-pleasing in Your sight." The word for
"delight" is "well pleasing," good will, pleasure,
and satisfaction. It is God’s good pleasure, delight
He has in mind. He delights in choosing people for
Himself (Eph. 1:5, 9). The apostle Paul uses the
same word. What was decided from all eternity was
realized in time (Eph. 1:4, 5, 7ff).
Jesus acknowledged the
priority of the sovereign Father and praises Him for
it. And should we not likewise do the same thing for
no other reason than the fact that He is worthy of
our praise! Whatever delights God ought to please
CONCERNING HIMSELF (MAT. 11:27)
Only Jesus Christ can
give us a true and accurate knowledge of the Father.
Jesus has unique
authority (Mat. 11:27a).
"All things have been
handed over to Me by My Father . . ." The Father has
committed or delivered over to Jesus authority.
Plummer said, it "points back to a moment in
eternity and implies the pre-existence of the
Messiah." It is timeless aorist. A. T. Robertson
notes, "The Messianic consciousness of Christ is
here as clear as a bell. It is a moment of high
The "all things" is not
referring to material goods, but to the "full
knowledge" of God. The context suggests the content
of the revelation is God Himself. With that full
knowledge comes full authority.
No one really and
thoroughly knows the Son except the Father so that
He must not be considered a mere ordinary human
John A. Broadus says,
"perhaps, when the covenant of redemption was formed
in eternity––all things were committed to Him, viz.,
all that pertains to the instruction of men in
religious truth . . . All authority in heaven and
earth was given to Him as the Mediatorial King (Mat.
28:18; 1 Cor. 15:24f). Jesus is the authorized
instructor in the knowledge of God."
Jesus, the Father’s Son,
has received full authority over Satan (Mat. 4:1-11)
and demons (Mat. 8:28-32); over human ailments and
handicaps (Mat. 9:20-22; 9:1-8), winds and waves
(Mat. 8:23-27), body and soul (Mat. 9:1-8); life and
death (Mat. 9:18-19, 23-26); His own disciples and
all other people (ch. 10); to save them (Mat. 9:13),
and to judge them (Mat. 7:22, 23), authority over
heaven and earth (Mat. 28:18). Jesus has what the
sinner needs. He also knows and He alone can provide
for the sinner’s needs. Therefore, in verses 28-30
He offers what is needed to the weary and burdened
The Father and Son
know each other intimately (Mat. 11:27b).
It is like Father and
Son, Inc. Jesus says, "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." The word "knows" means to "fully know, a
knowing that really penetrates." Sometimes the word
means "exact knowledge." It is a thorough intimate
knowledge that puts people in special relationship
to one another. Jesus and the Father stand in a
unique and intimate relationship with one another.
Only the Father knows who Jesus really is, and only
Jesus possesses a true accurate knowledge of the
Father. Whatever is known by the Father is known by
the Son and what the Son knows is known thoroughly
by the Father. It is a perfect knowledge. "No one
knows the Son . . . no one knows the Father . . ."
Don’t miss the "perfective action" of the compound
verb. Charles Williams catches the heart of the
idea, "No one but the Father perfectly knows the
Son, and no one but the Son perfectly knows the
Father, and the one to whom the Son chooses to make
Him known." Only the Father has a full knowledge of
the Son, and likewise only the Son has a full
knowledge of the Father. Only God the Father really
knows the Son, and only those whom the Son chooses
to reveal it have a true knowledge of the Father.
What is being revealed is
the inner relation between the Father and Son that
has existed from all eternity (Col. 2:3, 9, 10). The
reservoir is so inexhaustible that only the Father
knows its capacity. Since the Son knows the Father
He, He alone, is able to reveal Him (John 1:18;
6:46; 14:8-11). It is the revelation of the kind of
knowledge the Father and Son have for each other.
But it does more than that it shows the true nature
of God. Jesus shows us what God is really like.
Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father"
(John 14:9). The Son knows the true nature of the
Father and fully reveals Him. No one else can do
that. Only Jesus Christ can reveal God to men
because He is the Son of God. Jesus alone reveals
the mind, heart, attitudes and attributes of God to
From start to
finish salvation is of grace.
"Whom the Son wills" or
"whom the Son chooses," means the Son retains the
power and the will to reveal the Father to men. No
one knows the Father with the real knowledge which
is eternal life, except the Son, and "he to whomever
the Son wills to reveal Him." From start to finish
salvation is based on sovereign grace of God (Eph.
2:8-10). "This is eternal life, that they may know
You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You
have sent" (John 17:3).
Men can accumulate all
the wisdom and intelligence of mankind, but it will
not avail to gain a true knowledge of the Father,
unless the Son chooses to reveal Him to them. To
Him, then, let all come and receive eternal life
(Jn. 8:19; 10:15; 14:9; 16:15; 7:17; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2
PROMISE TO ALL WHO
COME TO JESUS (MAT. 11:28)
In the mind of Jesus
there was no contradiction between the sovereign,
electing grace and the free invitation of the
The invitation is
to all who are needy.
"Come" means to believe
or receive and has the idea of "come here" with the
"here" implied. It is like John 6:35, when Jesus
said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes
to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me
will never thirst."
The point is, "I alone
can give knowledge of the Father; come to Me, and
receive the instruction."
included –– "all who are"
The only qualification is
to have a need (Mat. 11:28). No one is
excluded. "Come to Me, all you who are . . . "
Jesus speaks of the
weariness of working hard. Are you "growing weary to
the point of exhaustion?" Jesus says, "Come to Me
all you who are exhausted." The "weary" is the
weariness of the heavy load of rules and regulations
placed upon the people’s shoulders by the Scribes
and Pharisees. The people were exhausted with the
search for religious truth. Legalism always places
oppressive burdens on people. It applies to anyone
who tries wholly or partly to achieve salvation by
means of his own exertion. All legalism does is
prove to the individual that he cannot save himself
by rules. It is impossible. It always causes a
person to stumble spiritually. The search for God
always ends in Jesus Christ. "Come to Me all you who
are weighed down beneath your burdens." Is your
religion a thing of endless rule and regulations,
full of "Thou shalt not"? Come to Jesus Christ and
be set free.
The "burdened" is a state
of weariness (perfect passive participle) meaning he
is overwhelmed by fear, anxiety and despair. Jesus
is describing those "who have been loaded with
burdens and are bending beneath their weight." The
Jewish Law and the oral commandments dictated every
action and activity of Jewish life. These were a
massive burden for the sincere religious person to
carry. Jesus alone can come along side and lift the
load and cause you to rest. There is a sweet
restfulness when we yoke up with Jesus Christ. He
invites us to take His yoke upon our shoulders.
An expanded paraphrase
could read, "You are distressed by the legalistic
commands which the religious teachers of the Law
have laid upon you. Come to Me; I will receive your
burden and you will find rest with Me."
Have you been caught up
in some cult, or religious leader who has placed
obligations upon you? Have you imposed upon yourself
some man made list of demands that supposedly you
will be a better Christian if you obey it?
THE PROVISION OF THE
EXCHANGED LIFE (MAT. 11:28-30)
"Come to Me, all who are
weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest"
provides "rest" (Mat. 11:28c).
"I will rest you." More
literally Jesus says, "I, yes, I, will lead or cause
you to rest." The emphatic, "I" meaning Jesus will
do what the Scribes and Pharisees cannot do. He will
give the power to do what He requires of the
"babes." Rejuvenation, refresh like living water. "I
will refresh you." It is far more than mere rest; it
is a transformation. Do you need a rest spiritually?
It means to "rest up." Jesus lifts the burden by
giving refreshment. Literally, "I will rest you." He
will cause you to rest. Jesus offers us peace of
mind, heart and assurance of salvation in place of
the weary burden of legalism. Men can never obtain
this rest unless Christ gives it.
How does Jesus give this
rest? This is the exchanged life. It is the life of
grace. It is the life Christ alone can give to those
who are weary and heavy burdened.
We are accepted into
God's favor through the perfect righteousness of
Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1; 8:1). Only Jesus Christ
gives rest. Other religious teachers may give you a
self-righteousness, or self-delusion, but only Jesus
yokes with us (Mat. 11:29-30).
As a carpenter Jesus
probably made many yokes for farmers around
Nazareth. He could have made well-fitting yokes that
would not have bruised, pinched or blistered the
animals. The Palestinian yokes in Jesus’ day were
made of wood. The farmer brought his ox to the
carpenter who took the measurements and roughed out
the yoke and then the ox was brought back and the
yoke tried on for adjustment. The carpenter worked
with it until the yoke was carefully adjusted so
that it would be well–fitting and not burr the ox.
The yoke was tailor–made to fit the ox. Yes, I too,
suspect that Jesus made the perfect fitting yokes.
"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" (Mat.
He invites us to "take My
yoke" (Mat. 11:29). In the Jewish literature it is
the symbol of the sum-total of submission to the
obligations a person takes upon himself. "Yoke of
the Torah," "yoke of the commandments," "yoke of the
kingdom" were expressions that described the Jewish
yokes. Their misinterpretation placed a heavy
burdensome yoke on their shoulders. There were yokes
of legalism, yokes of salvation by works, yokes of
obedience to rules, regulations, etc. Jesus says,
let’s exchange yokes! Here take My yoke. Yoke up
with Me! Simply trust Me and I will give you rest
(salvation and sanctification) for your weary and
burdened souls. I choose to submit myself to the
teachings of Jesus. I choose to become His disciple
and be obedient to Him. That is His yoke. It is a
yoke of faith and trust in a person. I choose to be
yoked up with Jesus Christ.
Legalistic yokes are
negative and depressive to have around. They will
choke you to death spiritually.
Jesus says, "Become my
students, submit yourselves to My instructions and
learn from Me." He invites us to come and submit
ourselves to Him. We cannot do that without humbling
ourselves and trusting Him.
Jesus still makes
perfect well-fitting yokes. When God sends us
opportunities in His service they are made to
exactly fit our needs and our abilities. When we
yoke up with Jesus the burdens become songs.
Jesus gives us a
tailor–made yoke and He invites us to submit
ourselves to Him. Learn what it means to become My
disciple. His discipleship is like a well–fitting
yoke of submission because He is humble and gentle.
The yoke that Jesus gives does not cramp and pinch
or hinder. If the yoke Christ gives pinches and
embitters it is because we pull against Him and are
not in submission to Him.
What Jesus requires is
"light." He demands simple trust in Him and
obedience. It brings peace and joy. He frees us from
spiritual slavery. He carries the load when we are
yoked up with Him. When we yoke up with Him we serve
Him spontaneously, eagerly and enthusiastically from
a heart of love.
Need some rest for a
weary soul? Give Him your burden . . . your anxiety
. . . your hunger for God. Do you long for a mature,
intimate love relationship with the LORD God?
The "rest" Jesus gives is an intimate fellowship
with God. Jesus’ invitation is, "Submit to Me and
you will find rest in Me."
Do you have some old
yokes of legalism? They must go. Exchange them for
the yoke of Jesus. His yoke is not burdensome. It is
full of love and grace.
Christ will lighten
Martin Luther said,
"Christ's burden is light because He helps us to
bear it, and when it becomes too heavy for us He
puts Himself under the load with us."
He will get underneath
and lift your burdens. His yoke is "gentle and
humble in heart." His yoke is gentle because He is
kind and gentle. The yoke Jesus puts on us is easy
to wear. The load He gives is not heavy because He
carries it with us.
The word "gentle" is the
same word Jesus used in the beatitudes in Matthew
5:5. Here is power under perfect control. He is
"gentle" as opposed to the haughty and harsh
teachers of the law. He is "humble in heart," not
arrogant, proud and repulsive. He condescends to
that of a humble servant. He is the Sovereign God
whose power is perfectly under control. How can we
possibly fail when we are yoked up with Him who is
Not everyone can be rich,
but all may be poor in spirit.
Not all can be wise and
intelligent, but we can all be humble and submissive
to God's revelation.
No one can commend
himself to God by his good works and virtue, but
anyone can confess his sins and humbly call upon the
name of Jesus Christ to save him.
Jesus issues a
John A. Broadus writes:
The sovereign Father reveals the Son only to the
The sovereign Son reveals the Father only to such as
All who need and desire the rest-giving knowledge of
the Father are invited to learn from this sovereign,
yet meek and lowly Teacher.
The full knowledge of God can be had only through
the Son of God.
It is conferred by the Son upon such only as He
He willeth to confer it upon all who will come and
take Him as religious Teacher.
He is a gentle Teacher, and His requirements are
easy and pleasant.
To accept His teaching will bring rest to the soul"
(Matthew, p. 256).
The he adds, "The Son of
God is the Revealer of the Father . . . to bring the
Godhead into saving contact with the sin-sick,
Jesus invites us to come
and yoke up with Him. He takes all of our heavy
loads and reaches under and enables us to bear them.
His yoke will be easy and our burdens become light.
There are no exceptions; nothing in our lives is
Where is your greatest
need today? What is the heavy load you are carrying?
What is the pain, hurt, grief, guilt, burden that
you bear? His invitation includes every thing in our
lives. Will you hand them over to Him and as you do
you receive His sustaining presence. He gives
forgiveness in exchange for our guilt. He exchanges
rest for our anxious worries. He gives peace in
place of your tumult.
How do you yoke up with
Jesus? It begins by making yourself available to
Him. As we submit to Him He meets our need.
Have you experienced the
sustaining grace of God during difficult
circumstances? He who abides in us gave us more and
more grace when we need it most. With each new
situation He comes and strengthens us. He doesn’t
give it all at once, but as we need it. When the
heavy loads grow greater He comes to us and gives us
the strength to bear them. It may be during
emotional and physical suffering, difficulties,
hardships, persecutions that He multiplies His
sustaining grace. There is no limit to His abounding
love, mercy and grace. He is there to help when we
Have you experienced this
kind of grace? Have you come to a place in your
spiritual life where you can say I am walking in
that grace by faith? It is a daily walk. It is not
something magical. It is a moment-by-moment trusting
Christ to live His life through you. If you are
already a Christian will you commit your life once
and for all to Christ as Lord of your life? Just
pray, "Lord I do know You as my Savior. I want You
to be the Lord and Master of my life. Here is my
life. I give it to You. You live it through me."
This kind of life begins
by asking Christ to come into your heart by faith.
If you have never done so pray with me this simple
prayer, "Lord Jesus I now believe that I am a
sinner, and that You died for me on the cross and
rose from the dead to save me. I want You to be my
personal Savior. I ask You to save me right now.
Title: Matthew 11:25-30
The Great Invitation to Rest in Jesus Christ
Series: Jesus Christ