Text: Matthew 11:28-30 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.
Introduction: People today seem to be so beat down by the everyday struggles of life. They seem to be so very tired and weary. It is so bad that it has brought on a new illness called “chronic fatigue syndrome”. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people that suffer from this disease of our time. The doctors can actually do little about the problem if you suffer from it. About the best that they can do is give you some sleeping pills and muscle relaxers, but that does not cure the problem it only hides it. Wouldn’t you rather find a cure for your weariness? You may say, “Of course I would, does one exist?” I am happy to report to you that there is a cure for your problem of fatigue and weariness. We find the cure in our text, and we would like to examine it extensively with full confidence that it will help you.
Notice with me the truths that are given to us in this most blessed passage of scripture:
I. There is a Problem that we all face. (V.28)
…all ye that labour and are heavy laden…
We all labor, and we are all heavy laden with something. We are tired and weary physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Consider the following:
A. The Everyday Bothers of life weary us.
We all have things that are bothersome to us. They may not be big things, but just the same they weight us down and make us weary. Everyone faces these things everyday in the hustle and bustle of our busy society.
B. The Enormous Burdens of life weary us.
We all have some kind of burden that we carry around from day to day. Many may have financial obligations that are weighing them down, while others may have family sickness that is weighing them down. Still there are others that are contending with dysfunctional relationships. The list of burdens could go on and on. The sad fact is that we all have something that puts us under enormous pressure and stress from time to time.
When we add life’s enormous burdens to life’s everyday bothers things can get very stressful indeed. After a short time in trying to cope with the two together we grow very weary indeed.
Weariness is simply a problem that we all face in this life. Job said that, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).
II. There is a Promise that we are all given. (V.28)
Come unto me…and I will give you rest.
In our text we find a most gracious promise by our Savior. He promises to give rest to those who come unto him. If any other person made such a promise we would laugh at them because we know that they do not possess the power to fulfill it. What about our Lord, can we count on Him to make good such a promise? Oh yes beloved we can. We can count on him to come through on this promise because of two things. Notice these two things with me at this time if you will:
A. His Godly Nature insures us that He can make His promises good.
We must remember that He is God, and that He holds all power in heaven and earth in the palm of His hand. When He makes such a promise it is not a shallow empty promise because He possesses the power to fulfill it.
B. His Good Name insures us that He will make His promises good.
We find one of the many names ascribed to our Lord in Revelation 19:11. Here in this particular verse He is identified as the rider of the white horse, and his name is “Faithful and True”. What a glorious name! What joy it should bring to your heart to realize that your Savior is always truthful in what He says, as well as, always faithful in bringing it to pass. His good name should insure you that He will make good His promises to you.
III. There is a Prescription that we are all pointed to. (Vv.29-30)
Here it is, the part that so many have been waiting for; the prescription for our weariness. We come to this particular point in our text and we are seemingly perplexed because of what is said. We are not told that we need more leisure time. We are not told that we are to take a vacation. We are not told that we need bed rest; rather we are told that we need the yoke. The yoke is the key to our rest. For so long we have been trying to work alone and we have worn ourselves down. It is now time to put on the yoke and get harnessed together with Christ; for the yoke that is mentioned is a double yoke. It is a yoke likened unto the yoke of the oxen where we see two yoked together. While we may feel that we need a hammock, Christ says that we need the yoke.
The yoke is important for two simple reasons. Notice them if you will:
A. The yoke is a place of Labor.
The problem with us is not that we must serve some master or perform some task. The problem is really what master we serve and what tasks we perform. Here Jesus is inviting us to work for Him and with Him. When we take the yoke of Christ we soon learn what is important work and what is not. We learn that what we do for Him totally eclipses anything else that we could do. When we begin duty in the yoke we have assurance that Christ is looking out for us and we worry less about the other less trivial matters of life. In the yoke we find restful activity.
B. The yoke is a place of Learning.
We are invited to learn of Him in our text. Could there be a better situation for learning than when we are yoked together with Him? The problem many of us face today is that we know so little about our Lord. His desire is that we would have a full knowledge of Him. We can only learn of him when we abide with him. That is one of the important elements of the yoke; it keeps us bound together with Him in a place of closeness where we can be taught. You cannot learn anything if you are not around the teacher. Christ desires us to be yoked together with him so He can teach us.
Being from the country, as I am, I have a great deal of friends that are farmers. Some of these dear friends are seemingly a little archaic in their farming methods, because they will not use modern day equipment to farm with. I have one dear brother in particular in mind. One day I went by to see him and He was plowing his field with a team of oxen. I happened to notice that one of the animals was seemingly a little bigger than the other so I asked him about it. The response that I got from him immediately reminded me of the truth that we have been trying to relay to you in our text. He said that the big animal was an older animal that was well trained and the smaller one was a young animal that was new to the yoke. I went on to inquire as to why he put them together and this is the answer that I got, “Well you see, it’s like this. That older ox is the best ox that I have ever had; he knows his way around the field. The reason I put the younger one with him is so the older, more knowledgeable ox could teach him how to plow. If I never put them together the younger one would never learn. By himself the younger ox would pull himself to death, but together he learns to cooperate and let the older ox help him.”
In the yoke we learn from Christ how to be patient in suffering, to walk humbly, to trust implicitly, to love intensely, and to rejoice exceedingly.
Conclusion: Do you have rest today or are you weary and tired? Have you come to Jesus? He is calling all those who are laboring and heavy laden, and He promises you rest if you respond. Would you come today or had you rather continue carrying the load that is tiring you out?