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Summary: There is no pleasing some people. If they make up their minds not to put their trust in Jesus, any excuse will suffice to prevent commitment.

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THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY

Matthew 11:16-19; Matthew 11:25-30

A) The children were out playing on the streets. ‘Let’s play weddings,’ suggested the girls: but the boys would not. ‘Let’s play funerals,’ countered the boys: but the girls would not.

A preacher came, austere in his appearance, sparing in his diet, and uncompromising in his message. ‘Too serious,’ complained the people. Yet that preacher was the herald and forerunner of the Saviour of the World.

Another preacher came, eating and drinking like any other man. He allowed the congregation to invite “publicans and sinners” to parties, and personally sat at table with them. ‘Too much levity,’ complained the people. Yet that preacher is the Saviour of the World.

There is no pleasing some people. If they make up their minds not to put their trust in Jesus, any excuse will suffice to prevent commitment. Yet the true Wisdom is revealed to - and in - the children of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:30).

B) Jesus gave thanks to the Father (Matthew 11:25). What is exceptional is Jesus’ claim to a close and unique personal relationship with Him (Matthew 11:27). All the wisdom of the wise could not find God, but He reveals Himself to humble folks ‘in the face of Jesus Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

There is a fine line between the Sovereignty of God and human responsibility. God reveals Himself to whomsoever He will, “for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matthew 11:26; cf. Deuteronomy 7:7-8; John 15:16; 1 John 4:19). Yet Jesus calls, “Come unto Me” (Matthew 11:28) to the ‘whosoever’ (John 3:16).

To whom comes this call? To those who are burdened down with the rules and regulations of religion (Matthew 23:2-4). We find no peace in man-made religion, and even the perfect law of God becomes a burden to the guilty.

Jesus perfectly fulfils the law in His own Person (Matthew 5:17). He bears away the burden of our sins on the Cross of Calvary. He silences the accusations of our conscience (Hebrews 10:22).

He gives us “rest” (Matthew 11:28): that perfect rest which comes from ‘peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1). He gives us the peace that the world cannot give (John 14:27). Not just pie-in-the-sky when I die, ‘in the sweet bye and bye’ - but perfect peace as a present possession in the here and now.

Yet this is not a call to lawlessness. There is such a thing as ‘the law of Christ’ (Galatians 6:2). There is a yoke to be borne (Matthew 11:29): but the Carpenter of Nazareth has so fashioned that yoke that, when we are yoked to Him, the trials of life are easily borne (Matthew 11:30).


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