Text: Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all 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.”
Introduction: It is not how long you live but how well you live. Age should not only be a number that represents how long we have lived but, more significantly, how well we have lived according to the purpose of our Creator.
“Come to me” – “Come to me is an invitation to trust Jesus personally, not merely to believe historical facts about him.”
- “All who labor and are heavy laden” – You do not need to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come.
“I will give you rest”… “you will find rest for your souls” – 1 Peter 2:25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
“Take my yoke upon you” – “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
- Two oxen are chosen to share a yoke. The first is an older seasoned ox. He is trained and hardy from years of routine. The second is a new young ox. He has potential but is inexperienced. The elder trains the young by sharing the same yoke with a veteran workhorse.
- Also, the experienced one draws harder to bear most of the load. Since the older one leads, the younger ox does not have to wonder what to do. He learns from his mentor and gains the knowledge and skill to teach others. (Christianity.com)
“My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” – 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
“Gentle and Lowly” – the only time in the four Gospels that Christ said something about his heart. Biblically, the heart does not only pertain to a part of who we are but is the very center of our being. Thus, Christ is telling us the deepest truth of his heart. This is who he is.
- Gentle, tender, open, welcoming. That is the heart of Christ. That should be our hearts too. Accommodating, understanding, and willing.
Illustration: I got a failing grade, and my mom knew about it. I was scared to go home because for sure I knew I would receive a mouthful of lectures and “palo.” But then, when I arrived, everything seemed calm; there was food on the table, and she was just in a good mood. I did not ask for any reason, but every time I hear about gentleness, that is the picture in my mind.
- Lowly means accessible. No prerequisites. Even to children, he said, “Let them come to me and do no hinder them (Matt 19:14).” The thief on the cross was able to come to Christ. No payment.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Rev. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
April 16, 2023