Lesson 130-Jesus’ Invitation
Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30
Lesson Goal: To better understand what it means to hear Jesus say “Come.”
Introduction: What does it mean to mankind and to you personally that Jesus Christ would extend the invitation “Come”?
In today’s Scripture passage we actually find three very important imperatives (commands) from Jesus. All three of these commands are made in reference to the invitation that Jesus extends. The three commands are “come,” “take,” “learn.” As we study, we will understand that Jesus’ invitation is for all not just for a select few or just for the people of Israel.
(v. 28) “Come to me”
Found in these three words is one of the greatest of theological truths. From time to time, I speak and write concerning what I call the nuggets, or gems, of the Word of God. One of the greatest, most glorious truths is found in this simple yet eternally profound facticity of Scripture that merely states: “Come to me.”
Let us begin by remembering who is speaking the words “Come to me.” “The object of faith is not a church, a creed, or a clergyman, but the living Christ” (MacDonald).
“all”—It is equally important that we identify the recipients of this invitation (command, imperative).
What makes Jesus’ words so personally important for every one of us today?
Please prayerfully ask God for wisdom as you write what it truly means to you, your life, your family, your hope that Jesus Christ would say to you personally: “Come to me.”
Warren Wiersbe offers us some great insight into the words of Jesus:
The Pharisees all said “do” and tried to make people follow Moses and the traditions. But true salvation is found only in a person, Jesus Christ. To come to Him means to trust Him. This invitation is open to those who are exhausted and burdened down. That is exactly how the people felt under the yoke of pharisaical legalism (Matthew 23:4; Acts 15:10).”
John Phillips adds:
When Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” what a word picture that was to rabbinic religion and all other religions based on works! Heavy is the load of sin. Laborious and burdensome are man’s religious systems with their rites and ceremonies, sacraments and sacrifices, tithes and offerings, rules and regulations, penances and facts, long prayers and tedious catechisms. The rest Christ offers cannot be bought, merited or earned. It is a gift. There is nothing to do but come. Once we have received the gift, we do not have to maintain our salvation by our own efforts. We just rest in Him and His finished work.
We find true salvation, not from “doing,” but rather by “coming.” As I study and pray on this important truth, I want to help our understanding of this passage and how it remains in complete harmony with James 1:22-24. The only way we can receive salvation is by “coming” to Jesus Christ. The “doing” of salvation occurs after the fact of salvation which happens by “coming.” Doing always follows coming. Doing without coming is not salvation. The evidence and testimony of our truly coming to Jesus is revealed by the light of our doing as recorded in the book of James.
There is an old expression concerning getting the cart before the horse. “Doing” without “coming” is not only getting the cart before the horse, it is getting the cart without the horse. And the result of that is you are going nowhere.
The power of salvation is entirely grace and nothing of works. An unbeliever has neither the understanding nor the ability to save himself, just as a babe has neither the understanding nor the ability to help itself. But although good works do not produce salvation, salvation does produce good works (MacArthur).
Please read Ephesians 2:10.
(v. 29) In Jesus’ day, a yoke was made of wood and leather, handmade to precisely fit the animal so the yoke itself would not hurt or damage the animal. The yoke allowed the animal to be under submission and control of the animal’s master. The yoke was also helpful in guiding the animal in the correct and beneficial direction. We are told by Jesus “take” this yoke. The great blessing of taking this yoke is that as Jesus’ followers we are yoked to Jesus. We are called to work alongside Him, sharing in His great ministry and purposes.
When I was a little boy, my dad and other farmers worked the land and literally plowed with what we called “a pair, or a team, of mules.” There was no John Deere, Kubota, Massey Ferguson, or Ford found in our fields—only two mules working in harmony with each other under the guidance of my dad. I don’t know if those mules were hard of hearing or had a hearing problem, but I can still remember hearing my daddy shouting, “haw” and “gee” from what seemed like a mile away. Together those mules worked in precise tandem (most of the time) under the direction and control of their master. Enough of the journey down memory lane.
Especially for the younger folks—what do the words “haw” and “gee” mean in the world of agriculture?
Please receive the words of John Phillips as they apply to verse 29a:
What greater privilege could there be in all this world than to be yoked to Christ, to be shoulder to shoulder with Him, to take each step with Him? We are given the opportunity to decide to face with Him the unplowed, unplanted field of this world and to leave behind us long furrows in which is planted the precious seed that is able to bring harvests long after our days on earth are done.
As we submit to Jesus and work alongside of Him we become students (“learn from me”) in the Lord’s classroom. We are to hear His word and receive His instruction. Christ teaches us and grows us as we submit (surrender) our lives to Him. We have the opportunity to learn from the greatest Master of all.
Have you taken seriously your opportunity to learn from Him?
Did you study today’s lesson before class?
Did you look at today’s lesson before class?
Did you open your Bible or your Bible app this past week?
Can you recall the pastor’s main outline points from last week’s message?
(v. 29b) Because Jesus is gentle, humble, and lowly in heart, He gives rest not weariness to those who share His yoke. It is not a burden. Please read 1 John 5:3. Jesus does not burden us as the Pharisees and scribes did the people of Israel. They burdened the people under the yoke of legalism and tradition.
Serving Jesus is not a burden weighed with demands of laws, traditions, and legalism, but rather a service that brings joy, peace and contentment.
Much of the Jews’ rejection of Jesus was because He was meek and lowly. They did not want a meek king. They had envisioned a political ruler, a militant king that would unleash his fury on Rome. They did not envision a lowly king. They wanted a revolutionary, combative king. They did not want or envision a humble king, but an aggressor that would squash their enemies.
(v. 30) Surrender to Jesus and to His wonderful lordship brings the greatest peace and freedom anyone can ever experience. The ultimate peace and rest Jesus gives is the removal of sin’s guilt and burden. When we are yoked with Jesus, we find His strength and power, and He shares that strength and power with us.
Are you weighed down in your spirit today because of the heaviness of a burden? How can you truly share that burden with Jesus?
How can Jesus help you with your heavy burden today?
As we close this lesson, may I call your attention to verse three of the song “How Great Thou Art”? And when I think, how God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How Great Thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How Great Thou art! (Hine)