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Matt. 11:25-30 - Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Sunday, 09 August 2009 13:00
  1. Introduction

    1. The incredible contrast between Christ's words in the previous and present passages could shock you. Christ pronounces both utter woe and perfect weal, unresting torment in Hell and perfect rest in Heaven. He calls you to repentance, and to faith. His kingdom is a kingdom not only of repentance, but also of faith in Jesus Christ. If Christ's words of woe shock you and drive you away, you will have no true interest in His words of comfort in this passage. But if you truly know that you deserve the terrifying wrath of God for the wretched evil of your sins, then you will understand how good is God's grace, and you won't want to leave this room without it. I'll draw out several simple points from this passage, but amidst them I want you to look for just one thing—the mercy of God—and hold on to that.

    2. This passage shows us that saving mercy in the revelation, authority, and blessings of Christ's kingdom. Christ's kingdom is revealed by the Father's will, its authority is exercised by the Son's will, and its blessings will make you whole. Its revelation is for children, its authority is absolute, and its blessings are good! Christ calls you to receive these blessings, because God has been pleased to reveal them, because Christ has authority to save, and because His salvation blessings are what you need.


  2. Body

    1. Revelation: For Children! vv. 25-26. First, this kingdom's revelation is for children!

      1. Text

        1. 25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

        2. 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

      2. By God the Father. This revelation is by God the Father. Remember that God who would be your condemning judge is your merciful Father in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

      3. Sovereign in dispensation. This revelation is sovereign in dispensation. God hides, and God reveals, as He chooses. All your powers of wisdom and understanding will not give you a right understanding of the things of God, because in the end, you can only know God if, and when, and how He has chosen to reveal Himself. God is sovereign in His revelation.

      4. For the humble, not the proud. God's revelation is for the humble, not the proud.

        1. The contrast between "the wise and understanding" and "little children" is not to be taken absolutely, else God would not command us to be wise, and only little children would be in the kingdom of God! Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Instead, the contrast is between the humble and the proud. Many men are wise in the intricacies of science or politics but know nothing of the things of God, because they lean on their own understanding. "The world by wisdom knew not God." (1 Cor. 1:21) Yet little children who sing "Jesus loves me" and believe it actually know God the Father. Neither your wisdom nor your understanding will gain your entrance into God's presence, but only the blood of Jesus Christ, and faith in Him. "All our righteousness is as filthy rags." (Is. 64:6) "The things revealed belong...to our children" (Deut. 29:29); in this way "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor. 1:20)

      5. Simple in essential content. From this we should learn that God's revelation is simple in its essential content. Faith in God and the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is simple in its essential content. It has been said that the gospel of John is "shallow enough for a child to wade, and deep enough for an elephant to swim."

      6. Shows God's gracious will. Christ makes plain the meaning of these things in v. 26, "yes, Father, for such was your gracious will." That God's revelation is for children shows God's gracious will. It is God's good pleasure to reveal the kingdom of Jesus Christ not to the great and the proud, but the lowly and needy. Now there is a reason to come to Jesus Christ!

    2. Authority: Absolute! v. 27. Second, this kingdom's authority is absolute!

      1. Text

        1. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

      2. Absolute. Christ's authority is absolute, because He has authority over "all things."

      3. Authority to save. Further, this guarantees Christ has authority to save. There is no creature over which Christ does not have total authority, which means when He says of His sheep, "no one will snatch them out of my hand" (John 10:28), Christ has the authority to make it so. He also holds in His hands all the blessings of salvation, and so is able to save you to the uttermost.

      4. From God the Father. Christ's authority is from God the Father. Christ says all things were handed over to Him "by my Father." This also shows that Christ submits to God the Father. Though Christ is the all-glorious God, He is humble before His Father. Do you know that Christ's kingdom is not one of earthly glory, but of humility?

      5. Rooted in God. Christ's authority, and the blessings of salvation, are rooted in God; in the uniqueness of the inter-trinitarian communion and knowledge shared between God the Father and God the Son. You may know Jesus as a man, but you will not know Him as God, and as your Savior, except by receiving the revelation that only God the Father and God the Son can give. It is only the eternal God who is perfectly blessed in Himself, in the eternal sweet communion between God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who has any blessing to give to you.

      6. Revealed to men. And what a gracious thing it is that Christ's authority, and His salvation, are revealed to men. Out of the fullness of God's own blessedness God the Father pours out upon you every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, sealing it to you by His Holy Spirit. This is the point of Ephesians 1 and the whole of Calvin's Institutes. "No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him." Praise God for the glory of His grace, that He does choose to reveal His salvation to men! Christ's kingdom is about a relationship between God & man brought about through reconciliation. We who deserve to be alienated from God, He now welcomes into the presence of His glory, through the saving work of Jesus Christ!

      7. Exercised according to Christ's sovereign choice. We see in this that Christ's authority is exercised according to Christ's sovereign choice: "anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." However much that choice passes over the great mass of men who are left to receive the wrath of God for their sins, when the Son chooses to reveal the Father to those He saves, so far from an act of cold cruelty, it is an act of pure grace. When you know God's sovereign grace aright you cannot find fault with God, but must marvel at the greatness of His mercy. At the foot of the cross we have only Christ to thank, and only ourselves to blame. God's sovereignty is not a troubling evil to despise, but a glorious perfection to worship.

    3. Blessings: Good! vv. 28-30. Third, this kingdom's blessings are good! We love these verses because they are full of the grace of Jesus Christ.

      1. Text

        1. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

        2. 29 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.

        3. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

      2. They give rest from the burden of sin. This kingdom's blessings are good because they give rest from the burden of sin. In Matt. 23:4 Christ describes who the weary and burdened are—they are those who attempt to follow the Mosaic Law in their own strength, and more generally, sinners who rely on themselves rather than on the Savior. "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matt. 23:12) If in your own strength you try to bear your sin's corruption, guilt, and evil deeds, it will destroy you! What is more, you will not escape the wrath of God! The unbeliever's struggle against sin is a lost battle. But the believer's struggle with sin is a winning battle, by the saving power of Jesus Christ. Christ calls you, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden" with sin, "and I will give you rest."

      3. The way to come is first by faith in Christ, but also by obedience. This kingdom's blessings are good because the way to come to Christ is first by faith, but also by obedience.

        1. First by faith. Christ calls you to "Come to me," not meaning that you save yourself by your coming, but that you come to Him because He is able to save you. Trust Him to keep His promise to give you rest from your sin.

        2. We come to Christ second by obedience. Christ does not set us free from obedience to God's law, but from sin against God's law. We must still take Christ's "yoke" of obedience upon us, following His example of humbling Himself by becoming obedient to His Father on our behalf, even unto death on the cross!

      4. Rest for your souls. This kingdom's blessings are good because they give you rest for your soul. By Christ dwelling in your hearts through faith, God's law is no longer a burden, but a joy! "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Your soul's struggle against sin is no longer a losing, but a winning battle. Though you mourn that you have sinned against God, you rejoice more that He has granted you forgiveness! Though you hate the sin that dwells in your members, you rejoice that God has given you a new heart, and will one day perfect you in body and soul. To all who come to Him for salvation, Jesus Christ gives justification, adoption, and sanctification, as well as "assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end." (WSC 38)

  3. Conclusion

    1. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord! Do you know the saving mercy of your God? You can only know it if you mourn the terrible burden of your sin against God, if you hear Christ's call to repent and then flee from your sin to the welcoming arms of His grace. Call out to Him, "O Lord, save me!" (Ps. 3:7; 6:4; 55:16; 109:26; Is. 38:20; Jer. 17:14; Matt. 14:30) Though you are evil, He is good. Though we are weak, He is strong. His saving revelation is for little children, His saving authority is absolute, and His salvation blessings are good.

Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people!

Psalm 3:2-8

 

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