THE GREAT INVITATION
Matthew 11:28-30 (READ)
We want to begin our message by noticing the occasion of this great Bible invitation.
First, this great invitation followed our Lord’s rebuke of the Galilean cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, because they repented not at the mighty works of Christ (verses 20-24). Men are responsible to repent, especially men who see God’s mighty works. God is sovereign yet He holds all men accountable to repent and believe in Jesus. The fact is, God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
Secondly, this great invitation followed our Lord’s exposition of the sovereignty of God in verses 25-27. In these verses we see that God hides His truth, and His will and purpose from the wise and prudent and reveals it unto babes. Why does God do this? Because it just seems good in His sight! That is all the explanation that Jesus gave, and He didn’t have to give that much. God is not obligated or accountable to men. He owes sinful men nothing!
Jesus said that no man knows the Son except the Father (verse 27). No one really knows who Jesus is unless God reveals Him unto them. And no man knows the Father except the Son, and whomsoever He will reveal Him. No one really knows God the Father, unless Jesus reveals Him unto them. All the religions in the world, including all those in so-called Christendom, don’t know who God is unless Jesus reveals Him unto them.
Yet, even though God is sovereign over all, Jesus still invites sinners to come to Him and be saved. We want to notice four thoughts from our text this morning.
1. First, What did Jesus mean when He said “Come unto me” (verse 28).
“Come” is a command to approach Jesus. This is not just an invitation; it is a summons. Jesus lovingly commands His people to approach unto Him. Jesus didn’t mean to come to Him physically, but spiritually by faith. Come to Jesus spiritually in our hearts by faith, believing that He is who the Bible says He is, and that He did what the Bible says that He came into the world to do.
“Come unto” means to come “near” and to “take advantage of”. Come near to Jesus by faith, and take advantage of His salvation.
“Come unto me”, that is, come unto Jesus the Son of God. Come unto Jesus, the Lord of Heaven and earth. Come unto Jesus, the Lamb of God, who came to die for the sins of all who will believe. Come unto Jesus the Saviour, who came to save His people from their sins.
The great invitation is “Come near to Jesus and take advantage of His salvation, by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him and be saved today. That is the invitation of Jesus today!
2. Secondly, Jesus said “All ye that labour and are heavy laden.”
Who are invited to come to Jesus? All who labor and toil under the heavy burden of sin; who have come to see the curse of sin upon this old world; who have come to see that all the burdens and toils of life are caused by sin; who have come to feel the heavy burden of their sins.
Who are invited to come to Jesus? All who are loaded down with the guilt of sins; who have a guilty heart and conscience toward God; who have come to know that they are not right with God because of their sins.
Who are invited to come to Jesus? All who are falling beneath the hardships of life; who have sickness, pain, and heartaches that are more than they can bear; who have come to despair of all human hope, and the help of men; who only have Jesus that they can turn to for help.
These are the kind of needy people that Jesus bids to come to Him for salvation. Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. How about you? Is Jesus talking to you today? Are you the heavy laden sinner that Jesus came to save?
3. Thirdly, Jesus said “I will give you rest” (verse 28).
What is the rest that Jesus spoke of here? It is rest from the heavy burden and guilt of your sins. It is rest in knowing your sins are forgiven, and that you have peace with God. It is rest that comes through faith in the work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. It is rest for your troubled soul from the toils and hardships of this life.
Jesus said “I will give you rest”. Jesus is the only one who can give you this rest. Jesus is the only One who can give you rest from life’s trials and hardships. Jesus is the only One who can give you rest from the heavy burden of your sins. Jesus is the only way to the Father, and the only door into Heaven. He is the only way to eternal life, and the only One who can forgive your sins. And He is the only One who can give you rest for your soul!
Jesus said “I will give you rest”. Jesus didn’t say He might give you rest, but that He will. In the Bible Jesus is called “Faithful and True” (Rev. 19:11). As Faithful and True, Jesus always keeps His Word, and Jesus said that He “will” give you rest for your soul, if you will come to Him by faith.
Jesus said “I will give you rest”. The rest that Jesus gives is a free gift. It is absolutely free with no catches, and no strings attached. There is nothing you have to work for, and no price that you have to pay. In fact, you must receive it as a gift. That is the only way God will give it to you. Salvation is a free gift. It cannot be earned or purchased. It must be received by poor needy sinners who have nothing to pay.
Yes, come unto Jesus…and He will give you rest for your soul!!!
4. Fourthly, Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you” (verses 29-30).
What is a yoke? A yoke is a wooden harness that keeps two oxen together while plowing a field. A yoke is also an emblem of servitude, and submission to one’s master.
Jesus said “take my yoke upon you…”. Jesus was implying that everyone is wearing some kind of yoke. Every man is a servant to something or someone. We want to notice a few of these yokes that people are wearing today.
First, there is the yoke of sin, which is why we come to Jesus in the first place, to get out from under that heavy yoke of sin that is leading us down the road to hell.
Secondly, there is the yoke of God’s moral law. The law says “Continue in all things whatsoever is written in the book of the law to do them.” This is a heavy and grievous yoke! The law is an impossible burden for any man to bear! No man can keep God’s law, but they will be crushed beneath its heavy load.
Thirdly, there is the yoke of legalism. This yoke was a long, heavy list of man-made commandments. The Pharisees required men to keep a long list of commandments to be saved. Jesus said that the Pharisees wouldn’t even lift one finger to lighten the burden of legalism that they loaded on men’s shoulders. We still have that legalistic crowd with us today, who say that men must keep their man-made list of do’s and don’ts in order to be saved.
Fourthly, there is the yoke of the devil, who takes men captive at his will to serve him. He is the hardest taskmaster of all! He holds men in his yoke of drug and alcohol addiction. He binds them in his yoke of sinful lusts, and sinful lifestyles. Worst of all he blinds them with his yoke of unbelief in the Gospel of Jesus, which is their only hope of ever being saved.
These are all hard and heavy yokes, that are impossible for men to bear. But Jesus said “take my yoke upon you”, and “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
His yoke is easy. Jesus is not a hard taskmaster. He is much easier to serve than the old devil. He is “meek and lowly in heart.” He is kind and compassionate. Unlike the devil, Jesus doesn’t drive men with a whip like oxen behind a plow. But He gently leads them with His shepherd’s rod and staff. Yes, Jesus is an easy Master compared to sin, and Satan, and this old world!
His burden is light. Jesus won’t put more on you than you are able to bear. He doesn’t expect more from you than you are able to do by His grace. And Jesus even gives you the very strength you need to bear your burdens in life.
Yes beloved, Jesus is a good and kind Master, who not only saves his servants from the powerful yokes of sin, and of men, and of Satan, but also treats them with loving kindness as they travel along their Heavenly way.
In conclusion, Jesus said in our text to “learn of me”, or that is, “learn from me”. Will you learn of Jesus today? Are you one of the heavy laden sinners that Jesus is talking to in our text?
Will you learn to come to Him by faith, and believe in your heart that He died on the cross for your sins, that He was buried in the tomb, and that He rose again from the dead the third day to save you from your sins, and to give you eternal life?
Jesus said “whosoever believeth in me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” Can you learn this Gospel of Jesus?
Will you learn to “take His yoke upon you”? Will you learn how to serve Him with your life as a believer? His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Will you learn to serve Him in His local New Testament Baptist Church? This is where He prescribed for His people to serve Him in this dispensation.
No beloved, Jesus is not a hard taskmaster, but He is a gentle and loving Saviour, who doesn’t put more on His people than we are able to bear.
Repent and believe on Him this morning, and He will give you salvation rest! And then take His yoke upon you, and serve Him with your life in His kind of church.