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Summary: Jesus invitation goes out to everyone, and all who respond to it will be saved.

A Messiah of Invitation

Text: Matthew 11:25-30

Introduction

1. Illustration: How do you feel about people? A pastor arranged for a gathering of the women’s auxiliary. It was to be a garden party on the church lawn, under the old oak. At the last moment, the morning of the party, Mrs. Preacher discovered she left Sister Hissyfit off the invitation list. The parson called the dear sister and begged forgiveness. I’m so sorry we didn’t catch this sooner, Mrs. Hissyfit, won’t you please come to the garden party? cajoled the pastor. Beggin’ won’t help now, Preacher, said the offended Mrs. H., I’ve already prayed for rain.

2. It is hard to miss Jesus' invitation. He has made it very clear!

3. Romans 1:19-20 (NLT)

19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

4. With God the question isn't "have we been invited?," but will we respond?

5. Jesus reveals himself to:

a. The Open Heart

b. Those He Chooses

c. Those Who Need Rest

6. Read Matt. 11:25-30

Proposition: Jesus invitation goes out to everyone, and all who respond to it will be saved.

Transition: The first criteria to receive His invitation is...

I. Jesus Reveals Himself to the Open Heart (25-26).

A. Revealing Them to the Childlike

1. Matthew begins this section of his gospel with, "At that time Jesus prayed this prayer..."

a. "At this time" connects this section with the previous one.

b. As you might recall, in vv. 20-24 Jesus pronounced judgment on those who did not receive his message.

c. However, here is gives praise and thanks for those that do accept his message (France, 443).

2. In his prayer, Jesus talks about two different kinds of people. First He says, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever..."

a. Those who think themselves wise and clever: a person of professional or semi-professional status who is regarded as particularly capable in understanding the philosophical aspects of knowledge and experience (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).

b. This refers to those who do not accept the gospel because they think they know better.

c. They are too enlightened with the wisdom of this world to accept the simple truth of the Gospel.

d. They are too confident in their own resources too be able to receive the truth.

e. 1 Corinthians 1:19 (NLT)

As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

3. Then Jesus talks about "and for revealing them to the childlike."

a. Notice that Jesus doesn't say the "childish," but the "childlike."

b. Childlike: a small child above the age of a helpless infant but probably not more than three or four years of age (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).

c. These people are those who accept his message because they have open hearts and teachable spirits like little children.

d. They do not rely on their own resources, but are open to receive the revelation (France, 444).

e. Mark 10:14-16 (NLT)

14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

4. Jesus is not talking about ignorance but open heartedness!

a. Children are able to see things and understand things that adults cannot because they have open hearts and open minds.

b. They have not been conditioned by society to be skeptical and cynical like adults have been.

c. Illustration: That's why I can teach Kyran to say "Go Browns," because his mind has not yet been poisoned by the evil influence of Steeler's fans (Just Kidding)!

5. Jesus goes on to say, "Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!"

a. Jesus says that this does not happen by accident but results because this is the way the Father was pleased to do it.

b. What human wisdom finds unacceptable and humiliating is simply God's good pleasure (France, 445).

c. It is not that God wanted for some to receive it and others not to receive it, but those who did not receive it could not receive it because of their arrogance and pride (Horton, 225).

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