Summary: “Come to me, all 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 lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28-29.
Theme: Jesus frees us from all burdens
Text: Zech. 9:9-10; Rom. 8:9-14; Matt. 11:25-30
Human reasoning and understanding cannot understand the truth that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. They cannot discern who Jesus is or what the Kingdom is unless God reveals it to them and God has been doing this all the time. The coming of Christ had been prophesied so many times in the Scriptures that He should have been recognised. It had been prophesied that Christ would come as a King with absolute power in heaven and on earth and that as a righteous ruler He would bring salvation and establish the Kingdom of heaven. The Kingdom of heaven would not be established using any weapons of war but would be established using the weapons of love and compassion. Christ would establish His kingdom by freeing men and women from slavery to sin so that they could serve Him. The general thinking of many people today is that coming to Christ is to get the rest they need and the time to lead a comfortable easy life. Jesus Christ indeed provides rest by dealing with our burdens. He deals with our burdens of loneliness, broken relationships, and guilt. Jesus frees us from all burdens in order that we can serve Him and serving Christ is not burdensome in any way.
Jesus Christ came into the world to free us from the heavy burden of sin. He came to save sinners, to save you and me. As sinners we were doomed to death for the wages of sin is death. God, who is holy and righteous, demonstrated His great love for us when He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins. He did this by bearing our sins in His own body and becoming our atoning sacrifice. Jesus Christ not only died to pay the penalty for sin but also to save us from God’s wrath and reconcile us to Him. Jesus Christ died to restore our peace and purpose in life. He died that we by His grace may become heirs of God and co-heirs with Him.
“Come to me” is the call of Christ to all those who are willing to live His life. It is a call to come to Jesus Christ and no other person. It is a call to come to Him and hear what He has to say. God will only speak to those who are willing to listen to Him. Why should He speak to those who think or believe they know more than He does? Why should He speak to those who are constantly telling Him what to do instead of asking what they should do? We can only benefit from God when we come to Him as a little child. Just as little children are totally dependent on their parents or on others and cannot do anything for themselves so also should we be totally dependent on Christ. Just as little children can go to sleep without a care in the world knowing that their parents will take care of them so are we to trust God as our heavenly Father. Whenever people try to find rest on their own, they are tempted to ignore God. On their own they end up with what the world has to offer. They end up with trying to find rest in alcohol, gambling, pornography, and illicit sex. All these lead to addictions that ruin lives and destroy families. God’s Word is very clear. It says Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and we cannot reject Christ and still come to the Father. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord?
When Christ calls us, He calls us to leave wherever we are and whatever we have to enter into a relationship with Him. He demands a change in our way of life and gives us a completely new direction to follow. To fulfil the purpose of His call demands total submission and obedience to Him. It demands putting an end to the control of our lives by our sinful nature and allowing the Spirit total control of it. This can only happen when the believer totally depends on God. He needs to be so renewed in his thinking that he will only think of those things that result in life, His words spoken to us.
Christ illustrates the way the believer ought to live by using the example of animals being yoked together. The yoke is the harness that goes around the neck of the animals and secures submission, brings the animals under the master’s control and directs them to carry out his directions. Because animals are unyoked to rest yoking them portrays work and companionship and by working together they produce better results. The yoked animals are directed by their master how to get the job done properly. A farmer when he wanted to break in a young ox would yoke it to an experienced mature one with most of the burden on the mature ox. That way the young ox learnt the process of getting the work done without bearing much of the burden. When we take the yoke of Christ we are yoked to Him and through His guidance and direction He teaches us how to be effective as His disciples. He teaches us to renew our thinking and think only about those things that result in life and not on those things that do not profit us. Those things that profit us according to Jesus Christ are the words that He speaks for they are spirit and they are life. It is only with Jesus Christ that we can lead the sort of life that is God’s will and purpose for us. He knows how to overcome sin, how to have peace of mind, how to lead a successful life, how to make a marriage work, how to raise children and how to overcome the devil. We need to change our way of thinking and think only on those things that bring life. We need to think the way Jesus thinks.