Summary: This is the third and final sermon in a series of sermons unpacking the scripture in Matthew 11: 25-30..."Come Unto Me"..."Laboring for Christ"..."And I Will Give You Rest"
Scripture: Matthew 11: 28
Hebrews 4: 1-10
John 10: 27 -30
Sermon: "And I Will Give You Rest"
Good Morning…Well, today we come to the last part of this scripture in Matthew that has been our focus over the last few weeks.
“Come unto Me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Little did I know that this verse would spawn three sermons when I started looking at it! It has been very interesting to me, and I hope to you also, to dive into the depths of this verse.
The title of my sermon today is, “And I Will Give You Rest”.
The promise of rest for those who labor…what a comforting thought. It’s always so good to be able to sit down on my deck swing after working hard in the yard, or walking in the front door of my home after a long day’s work and then finally, at night, to lay down in my bed, exhausted and let sleep come over me.
The word, ‘rest’, is another one of those words that have a lot of meaning and we express it in so many ways. I looked in my Thesaurus and this is just some of what I found for the word ‘rest’…
Sleep, slumber, doze, repose, lie down, let down, ease off, recuperate, rest up, take a break, take a load off, lean, recline, relax, unbend, settle down, dream, drowse, take it easy, be comfortable, stretch out, nap, nod, snooze and chill out.
This idea of resting has expressions in every language on this earth…the idea of letting down, ceasing the exertion, the effort…distancing ourselves from the battle of everyday life and problems we constantly face. Man desperately seeks to find this peace.
In this verse of Matthew, Jesus is saying to us…come to me and let me help you find this peace your looking for…let me give you some rest and some peace for your life. And all He is asking us to do is to believe in Him… and to Trust in Him.
Man has, through the ages, desperately looked for this inner peace that will give him some rest from the world he lives in. He urgently needs to find something to believe in that will give him the rest he must have to continue to exist in a world that is sick and lost…a world that doesn’t know what to believe in.
As I researched our scripture this morning, Hebrews 4: 1 to 10, I found that the word rest in Hebrew is Katapausis, and it is used in several different ways in the Bible in order to show us the value of what God is offering us. Just like He offered the invitation to “Come unto Me”…He is offering us His Peace, also.
In Genesis 1 and 2…in the beginning, we find God laboring as He creates the universe and everything in it. From day one through day six, He works from morning until evening. But on the seventh day He rests.
There is a strange fact here. On the first six days of creation, it is said that morning and evening came, that is to say that there was a beginning and an ending to each day. But on the seventh day, if you look closely, the day of God’s rest, there is no mention of evening at all. It has been suggested that since this day had no ending, that ‘God’s rest’ is ongoing and available to all who seek it.
Just the idea that God knows what it means to need ‘rest’ is an amazing fact…He knows that after a good labor is done, that there should be a time of rest and restoration…a time of strengthening and recuperation. God’s rest is there for us…but we need to avail ourselves of it…we need to trust that He will give it to us.
But did you know we could miss it? Just like the Israelites. They missed their chance at God’s promised rest. In Number 13 and 14, we read about them. These chapters tell how the children of Israel came to the borders of the Promised Land, how they sent out scouts to spy out the land, how ten of the twelve scouts came back with the verdict that it was a good land, but the difficulties of entering it were too great, how only Caleb and Joshua alone were for going forth in the strength of the Lord, and then how the people hearkened to the advise of the cowards, and how the result was that this generation of distrusting cowards were debarred forever from entering into the rest and the peace of the Promised Land.
They did not trust the Lord to bring them through the difficulties that lay ahead of them and therefore they never enjoyed the rest that could have been theirs in that Promised Land.