Summary: How taking the yoke of Jesus is the key to life.
I’ve got to admit I am REALLY excited about sharing this message with you! This is one of my favorite passages of scripture in the Bible and I’ve quoted it hundreds of times, but I’ve never devoted an entire message to it. Now, I realize sometimes people who hear me preach aren’t as excited as I am to preach it! It reminds me of the lady who showed up in the foyer of the church. The usher didn’t recognize her, so he assumed she was a guest. He offered to help her find a seat. She said, “Yes, I’d like to sit right down in front of the preacher.” The usher said, “Ma’am, I wouldn’t advise that because our preacher is REALLY boring.” The lady said, “Do you know who I am?” The usher said, “No.” She said, “I’m the preacher’s mother and I don’t appreciate your comment.” The usher said, “Well, do you know who I am?” The lady said, “No.” The usher said, “Good!” And he walked away.
So I hope you’ll be excited as I am about this message. I noticed not too many of you are sitting down front though!
In this series, I’m highlighting all the parables and miracles in the Gospel According to Matthew. That means I am intentionally skipping some passages because they don’t contain a parable or a miracle. This doesn’t mean those verses aren’t important: They are. It’s just my intent in this series is to focus only on parables and miracles. I brought eight messages from the ninth chapter of Matthew because it was full of parables and miracles. There were three messages from Matthew 10, but this is this is the only message from Matthew 11.
In these verses we witness the simple, natural, prayer life of Jesus. Then He makes a theological statement followed by His invitation for us to wear His yoke. He’s serious, because as the title of this message says, “Taking His Yoke is No Joke!”
Matthew 11:25. “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 was your good pleasure.’ 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. 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.”
See how easily Jesus broke into a prayer of praise? Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors so the wise would be confounded and the simple-minded children would understand, and that gave pleasure to God.
This is such a favorite passage of mine that I have it printed on the cards I send to people. But these words are so much more than just a nice quotation to print on a card, needlepoint or a picture to hang on your wall. Jesus is here today and if you’ll truly open your heart you’ll hear Him saying to you, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” There are five aspects of this passage I’d like to explore with you. First, there’s:
1. SOMETHING TO DO: Come to Jesus
Jesus says, “Come to me, ALL you who are weary …” I read once that the entire Christian life can be summarized in three simple commands of Jesus. First, He says, “Come to me.” Next, He says, “Follow me.” And finally, He says, “Abide in me.” Jesus didn’t say, “Come to church and you’ll find rest.” He said, “Come to me.” And He didn’t say, “Come to me, some of you.” He said, “All of you.”
The only thing we have to do to be saved is to come to Jesus. In Acts 16 a jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” He said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Paul didn’t tell him to do anything other than believe.
Ask a Muslim what they must do to go to paradise and they will tell you to observe the five pillars of Islam which includes praying five times a day and fasting one month every year during daylight hours. Ask an Orthodox Jew what you must do to go to be righteous and he will give you a long list of things to do: Don’t prepare dairy and meat in the same kitchen. Don’t push an elevator button on the Sabbath, and many other do’s and don’ts. Ask a Hindu how to be reincarnated into a higher existence and he will tell you to make an offering at your household shrine three times a day.