Tuesday 17 October 2023

M A T T H E W  11 V 28-30

Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am humble in heart.   and you will find rest for your souls  For my  yoke is easy and my burden is light.    

 There must be very few Christians or non- Christians who have not experienced some worry, some anxiety. We need hardly ask whether worry harms, it causes us to lose sleep, takes the joy out of living, causes our hair to fall out or turn grey, even leads to an early grave.

    There are so many fears in modern life. Young people facing life away from home for the first time.  The man in his 40s fearing redundancy. Young managers worried at having to constantly achieve ridiculously high targets.  The business man working such hours he hardly has little time to see his family.

 There is the fear of marriage breakdown, or serious illness; fear of losing someone dear.  These are all perils faced by people every single day. 

 As Christians we need to ask, ‘what is life all about’?  So many people, especially the young, have no meaningful purpose.  They have a hard outlook of, ‘live life to excess, get what you can out of it by any means whatever’.

 What is the answer for the growing number of older people frightened to venture out of their homes?  The one parent abandoned by their husband /wife.  Wherever you look you find sadness and ,heartache and despair.  The Bible says the answer is that life has no meaning apart from God.  But for many God is unreal. 

 You can’t however come to God except through Jesus Christ.  Not by Mohammed, Buddha, or anyone else.  Christ came to seek and to save the lost, the fearful and the lonely, the worried and the broken hearted.  God is willing to pour His grace upon you so that you no longer need to fear if you repent of any sin and turn to Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

 The Bible says that God is separated from us by sin.  Sin is not just immorality; it is an attitude of rebellion and independence, saying ‘I go my own way’.  The Prodigal Son went his own way to be free and independent, but failed to find any true purpose in life, and found he was cut off from the only person who really loved him. 

Jesus came, sent from God with the sole purpose of bringing us into a living relationship with Himself, and to all who are worried, afraid or anxious, Jesus says, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, 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.’ He gives the call to all people, come to me.

     So can come?   All those who are weary and heavy laden with care.  This is a selective invitation.  You have to recognise a need, and be prepared to admit it.   All who are weighed down by sin or guilt.    

 The Bible says, ‘there is no distinction, since all have fallen short of the glory of God’.  It doesn’t matter what the past has been, if you repent and turn to Christ.

 God is ready to blot out your sins and give you a clean sheet.  We have all broken God’s laws, but if we are prepared to admit this, then Christ’s invitation is for us.

 What happens if you come?  Jesus said, ‘I will give you rest’.  These are words spoken by someone who fulfils His promises.  So many people make promises they either cannot, or have no intention, of fulfilling.  Jesus is ready to be faithful to His Word.   He says, ‘I can set you free for I am the Way, the truth, and the life. Come just as you are.  We rely on what He has done for us, and at His invitation in a spirit of simple trust. 

You see it is not just being religious, or even coming to Church, that brings peace and rest, or indeed makes you a full Christian.  A person can be baptised, confirmed, and be regular at Church and not be a true Christian. 

     Many Church people are really unpleasant, arrogant, and very un-Christian.  Coming to Church should be a delight like sons and daughters coming to meet their (heavenly)Father in complete harmony, as children go to their earthly parents’ home. 

 In far too many Churches, there are dominant personalities who, instead of looking for the good, want to put their own interpretation on matters, such interpretation not always being favourable.  In such cases it is because their own personal life is unhappy, disturbed or there is something lacking.

 In one famous promise Jesus said ‘behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with Him’.  As He stands outside the door of your life, He longs to come in to make His presence and friendship real.  But the door handle is on the inside.  All you need do is turn it in faith. 

      Jesus was brought up in the East, and there the greatest act of friendship is to dine with someone.  Jesus is offering to dine with anyone who invites Him.

 At the end of every one of his Crusades, Billy Graham asks people to make a commitment to Christ, and to demonstrate that commitment to go forward to the front of the stadium.  At the same time, the choirs sing the hymn, ‘Just as I am…I come to Thee’     Believe His promise, take Jesus at His word, come just as you are.

    If you have felt disappointed, or feel no one cares for you remember this passage, knowing there will be judgment one day and all who do goodness will be welcomed into His Kingdom.

 There comes times of suffering, and weakness in all our lives.  We may suffer loss, or have some seemingly impossible matter to deal with.  It is so easy to give in, but if you do give in, it can be so hard to get back. The important thing is not to give in.

 In to-day’s world , a lot of young men and women live in big cities for professional occupations, and many are lost after the day’s work is over and they are not aware of anyone to help them break the loneliness,

 One of the hardest, and saddest, funeral services I took was of a brilliant young man with a glorious future ahead of  him. His work demanded he lived in the city of his occupation, and his wife and child were too far distant to travel daily. He let his life deteriorate, like many young men through alcohol, and he died when at the peak of his profession.  After the funeral, I was handed a collection of handwritten letters to pass on to his wife, all were lavish with praise, and regret for their loss, and he of course was never able to know how much his fellow workers thought of him.

 There are so many ill minded people who long to destroy our faith, some within positions of influence in society, and too many politicians who want to take Christianity our of the public domain.  Their words may appear attractive, when you are downcast.  So if you have trusted God, and for some reason nothing has happened, your faith will be under severe attack.

 Many people have come out of his difficulty.  You too can.  Think of that great hymn by Ray Palmer, ‘my faith looks up to thee.’  Above all, never let doubt lead you to a spiritual desert. 


It is sad when someone loses their faith, and like many Ministers I have seen it too often.  You may think it can’t happen to you, but it can.

 This passage contains precious truths, may God enable their value to be recognized. Jesus says to His Father that He has hidden things from those people who consider themselves wise, and revealed them to children.

 We cannot tell who understands the gospel and who rejects it.  The wisdom of God is a mystery, but in all events one thing stands out in Scripture as great truth to be kept in mind. Those who fail to see the gospel who in their own opinion are clever, and wise. Those who accept the gospel are humble and willing to learn.

 In these verses, we see the greatness and majesty of Jesus.  He says all things are delegated to Him by His Father, and not one knows the Father except the Son.  We see a great practical truth,  for all power and authority is placed in the hands of Jesus. It is to Jesus we must go for admission to heaven.

 We learn also the fulness of the invitations of Christ’s gospel. For eighteen hundred years they have been a blessing to the world and helped many.  See who Jesus invites. He does not invite those thought to be righteous and worthy, He speaks to all who labour and are heavy laden.

 This compromises all who feel a load on their heart of sorrow, anxiety or remorse, and whatever a past, all may come to Christ. Jesus says He will give rest, for lack of rest is a problem. Heavy vexation, failure and disappointment face us all the time, but there is hope for the weary. There is rest of heart with pardon for sin and peace with God.

 Jesus makes a simple request to the weary and heavy laden, come unto me; take my yoke and learn from me.  He makes no conditions nor requires anything to be done first.

 He is humble Himself saying, He is meek and lowly of heart.  This is the only place in scripture where the heart of Jesus is mentioned.  He states His yoke is easy and the burden light, but elsewhere He spoke of the Cross to be carried if we follow Him.

 Jesus speaks to us as well as the Jews as He invites us to go with Him and find happiness. Here is the secret of a loving heart. All people who come to Christ will be satisfied, finding rest and fresh supplies of grace. For those who have never turned to Christ, do so now. His Word will never be broken. Jesus said he (her) who comes to me will never be cast out.

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