Matthew 11:25-30 (Please look this up in your Bibles and follow along as I read today's Scripture)
Now let's go back to Matthew 11:25-26 NIV
“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what You were pleased to do.”
“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned”
What “things” have been hidden from the wise and learned?
In the previous conversation Jesus was drawing a conclusion that if the miracles He had performed in the cities of Judea had been performed in Sodom and Gomorrah they would have repented instead of being destroyed.
(Briefly tell the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - Genesis 19)
The listeners knew the story well
They most likely applauded the destruction
Jesus was saying the listeners and his opponents were worse than the Sodomites.
The opponents of Jesus thought they were wise and learned.
They thought they were smarter than Jesus.
We have people like that today.
John Shelby Spong is one of them.
He has doctoral degrees in religion from
Virginia Theological Seminary
St. Paul’s College
He has “immersed himself in contemporary Biblical scholarship" at
Union Theological Seminary
Yale Divinity School
Harvard Divinity School
Edinburgh Theological Seminary
Oxford School of Theology and Religion
Cambridge Theological Seminary
With all of his education Spong considers himself to be wise and learned.
Here are some of his conclusions…
It is nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of [God].
So the [orthodox understanding of Christ] is bankrupt.
The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.
The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.
The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted … as supernatural events performed by [God who became man].
The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.
Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God.
It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.
This is just one example of a “wise and learned” man from whom God has hidden the treasures of the Gospel.
But the Lord Jesus Christ reveals His salvation to those with a childlike faith.
Of course we are to study the Scriptures diligently and with the aid of the Holy Spirit we will be able to understand and trust the truth in the Scriptures which the LORD has provided for us.
2 Timothy 2:15 NIV
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved. A workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.”
So, here we are confronted with some questions:
Did the Lord really inspire and protect the Scriptures?
If He did we just need to read and obey them.
If He didn’t we might as well go home.
The “scholars” of the Jesus Seminar decided which of the words of Jesus in the Bible were true or not by voting with little colored beads. They decided that only about 20% of the words attributed to Jesus in the Bible were true. God help us if we think we can sit in judgment on God’s Word.
Here’s a question; when the LORD speaks to us through His Holy Word do we believe it or do we question it?
Do I have the faith of a child? Is the LORD pleased to reveal His Word and His will to me?
Jesus continues by saying:
Matthew 11:27 NIV
“All things have been committed to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
So, how does Jesus, the Son, choose whom He will reveal the Father?
Is Jesus saying here, “OK, I pick you, you and you but not you three over there!”? Is it like that? Is it like He’s picking a team for a kickball game?
Look at this verse here … John 14:23 HCSB
“Jesus answered, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’”
Loving God, I mean REALLY loving God always results in obedience and obedience always results in the Father revealing more and more of Himself to us.
Then, Jesus gives this wide open invitation!
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, 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.”
This invitation is open to all who will come to Him for salvation.
Are you weary and heavy burdened? If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are weary and burdened or heavy laden because you are carrying the burden of sin and trying to get through life without the help of the LORD.
In the life of a child there comes a time when they become aware of right and wrong. Even if you don’t have parents who teach you the ways of Jesus, you become aware of right and wrong.
You know that taking something away from someone else by force is wrong because you know exactly how that feels when someone does it to you.
The LORD has placed inside of us the knowledge that some things are just wrong but we do them anyway.
Now, just suppose that every time you do something wrong (not talking about getting a math problem wrong on a test), lying, cheating, stealing, gossip, you know, sin. Just suppose every time you sin it adds a pound of weight to your back. In just a few years you’re carrying around a couple of hundred pounds of weight on your back in the form of guilt and shame and remorse and there’s no way to shake it off or to get help carrying that load.
Want to be rich and famous - no burdens with that right?
Robin Williams - Jovan Belcher (NFL player) - Margaux Hemmingway - Judy Garland - Elvis Presley (codeine, valium, morphine, and Demerol) - Whitney Houston - and the list goes on and on and on of people who you think would have the world by the tail and they died from suicide and drug overdoses.
They were all weary and heavy burdened and they sure had a yoke but the one they were yoked with was not Jesus and the one they were yoked to only added to the burden; the crushing burden of sin and despair.
Jesus had extended an invitation to each one of these to, “come unto Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Just listen to this amazing description of Jesus for us: “I am gentle and humble in heart”
Is that the exact opposite of prideful self-exalting worldly wisdom and intellectualism?
Not only that but our gentle and humble in heart Savior will remove from us the burden and guilt and shame of sins and will team up with us to carry whatever burdens come our way as we walk through this world.
But the LORD will not force this upon us, instead, He says, “Take my yoke upon you …”
His offer is for you. You will continue to have burdens in this life but Jesus will walk with you through the hard times. The Holy Spirit will lift you up and encourage you when you are down and give you courage when facing persecution or even death for the sake of Jesus.
Finally, here is a great treasure in being yoked with Jesus: no longer any fear of eternity. Can you imagine that?
Concluding remarks and prayer.