TEXT: Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
In light of the restlessness surrounding the coronavirus, here are some shocking facts about the coronavirus: There are 167,709 cases worldwide. There are 3,329 cases in the US. There are 6,456 deaths worldwide. 76,598 people have recovered from the coronavirus.
Tim Keller said of the coronavirus, “It’s just a way, I do think, for God to try to wake us up and to say, please make sure you’re right with me. Please think about where you are. So there’s a sense in which all these kinds of disasters are a judgment, but a judgment that’s not on the people who are suffering. When people die in a disaster that does not mean because God is judging them. What He’s actually trying to do is show that they’re no worse than anybody else. But what God is trying to do is trying to get our attention. And that these things do happen.”
Edward Markquart said, “In the storms of life that are part and parcel of our daily lives, we sense that we can find rest in the Spirit of God, in the Presence of our heavenly Father. All of us need rest, the place where we can go to recuperate and gain strength for the next day’s battle. Jesus invites us to find rest, calm and healing in him. We need that place for inner healing.”
J. Dwight Pentecost gave this illustration concerning this passage, “Back in my college days, I observed an incident that made this scripture clear to me. On Sunday afternoons I used to go out to a little rural Sunday school to teach. One such day the superintendent, a farmer, and I were visiting in the community. We saw an old farmer plowing with a team of oxen. As I saw this team, I was somewhat amazed, for one was a huge ox and the other a tiny bullock. That ox towered over the little bullock that was sharing the work with him. I was amazed and perplexed to see a farmer trying to plow with two such unequal animals in the yoke and commented on the inequality.
The man with whom I was riding stopped his car and said, “I want you to notice something. The large ox is pulling all the weight. That little bullock is being broken in to the yoke, but he is not actually pulling much weight.”
In the normal yoke, the load is equally distributed between the two that are yoked together, but when we are yoked with Jesus Christ, He bears the load, and we who are yoked with Him share in the joy and the accomplishment of the labor but without much burden of the yoke. The tragedy is that some of us have never been broken in to the yoke.”
In our last two messages we saw how Jesus offers rest to those of us who are struggling and stumbling under the burden of sin and the yoke of the law. We also saw how the character of Jesus, His meekness and lowly heart invites us to come and learn of Him. Here is something else that we can learn from this passage:
Third, Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. When Jesus issued His call to find rest in Him, he was speaking to a people that was crushed under the weight of trying to live up to the many religious commandments and traditions of Judaism. Jesus condemned the Jewish leaders for this in Matthew 23:4, where he said, “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Jesus is the exact antithesis of what he condemned in that verse. He does not make us bear a heavy burden, but a light one. Not only does he help us with our burdens, but he made the burden of sin no longer have power over us. David Guzik said, “Jesus described His gift to His followers as rest for your soul. This unmatchable gift – both powerful and profound – should be considered the birthright of those who come to Jesus and are His followers. They should believe that something is wrong if they don’t experience rest for your souls. You will find rest for your souls is an echo of the Hebrew text of Jeremiah 6:16, where it is the offer of God to those who follow his way; Jesus now issues the invitation in his own name! Jesus summarized this wonderful call with this assurance. The yoke is easy and the burden is light because He bears it with us. Borne alone, it might be unbearable; but with Jesus it can be easy and light. When training a new animal (such as an ox) to plow, ancient farmers often yoked it to an older, stronger, more experienced animal who bore the burden and guided the young animal through the learning process. The word easy is in Greek chrestos, which can mean well-fitting. In Palestine ox-yokes were made of wood. The yoke was carefully adjusted, so that it would fit well, and not gall the neck of the patient beast. The yoke was tailor-made to fit the ox. This isn’t a call to a lazy or indulgent life. There is still a yoke to bear and burden to carry. Yet with and in Jesus, they are easy and light. Jesus’ yoke is easy, not because it makes lighter demands, but because it represents entering into a disciple-relationship. If your yoke is hard and your burden is heavy, then we can say that it isn’t His yoke or burden, and you aren’t letting Him bear it with you. Jesus said it plainly: My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” The law is a heavy burden and a standard that we cannot live up to because of humanity’s fallen sin nature. We feel the judgment of breaking God’s law and yet we cannot stop breaking it of our own power. This is why Jesus comes to us and tells us instead of trying to live up to the law on our own merits, to follow Jesus because the law is fulfilled in Him. That’s what Christianity is about. It isn’t about following the law but following Jesus, because He is the only one who can forgive us when we sin and help us to follow God’s law. Why don’t you accept Jesus Christ’s invitation to lay aside your heavy yoke and burden and find rest for your soul in Him?
James Montgomery wrote:
O where shall rest be found,
Rest for the weary soul?
‘Twere vain the ocean-depths to sound,
Or pierce to either pole;
The world can never give
The bliss for which we sigh;
‘Tis not the whole of life to live;
Nor all of death to die.
Beyond this vale of tears,
There is a life above,
Unmeasured by the flight of years;
And all that life is love;
There is a death, whose pang
Outlasts the fleeting breath;
O what eternal horrors hang
Around “the second death!”
Lord God of truth and grace,
Teach us that death to shun,
Lest we be banish’d from Thy face,
And evermore undone:
Here would we end our quest;
Alone are found in Thee,
The life of perfect love,–the rest
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.