An Invitation to Rest

How many of you use email or send text messages? Something you may have noticed on those messages is that every single message you send or receive has a timestamp on it. Timestamps tell us when the message was sent or received. This section of Matthew’s Gospel begins with a time stamp marked by an event; not a clock hour. This is a normal method of writing for Matthew. Let’s begin by defining a few terms before we get to deep.

Read Matthew 11:25-27

In verse 25, What is Matthew referring to when he says, “at that time” or “in that hour”?

In order to understand this we need to look at the Gospel of Luke 10:17. The time or hour in Matthew’s Gospel is probably the moment when the seventy disciples returned from their assignment. Now, back in Matt. 11:25 Jesus begins with praise and appreciation because God has not disclosed some things to a specific group of people. So then, we have to ask ourselves a few questions:

    1. What has God hidden?
      • If you look at the beginning of Matthew 11, you will see that the disciples of John have questions about Jesus’ identity. “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (v3). In v27, Jesus says that no one knows the Father or the Son except the Father and the Son and the people to whom their identities are revealed. There was always a question about Who Jesus was as well as what He taught – the message of the Gospel. But there are some He has not revealed this to. Who are they?
    2. Who has He hidden it from?
      • the wise and prudent (those who claim to understand, perhaps the religious elite)
      • see John 5:39
    3. Who has He revealed it to?
      1. 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
      2. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
      3. 1 Samuel 3:1, 7
      4. Babes (those of child-like faith, disciples)

Until God reveals Himself to us, we have no way of knowing Him, but thanks to His prevenient grace, He has revealed Himself. He is even revealing Himself now, and He will reveal Himself through people. He came to His own and His own did not receive Him, but to those who did receive Him, to them He gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in Him (John 1:11-12).

Read Matthew 11:28-30

In this section of scripture, Jesus beckons us to come to Him. Remember in the verses we just read from John’s gospel, Jesus came to us and we refused Him, now He invites us to come to Him. When we come to Jesus, He promises us rest.

Rest from what? From the rigorous demands of life and from a works based salvation.

Jesus also invites us to take His yoke. What does Jesus mean by yoke? Yoke, the way Jesus uses it here, is a double entendre. It has two interpretations. 1) He means to be coupled together like two oxen plowing the field, but 2) He also means a form of instruction or teaching. The people were under a heavy and burdensome teaching which no one was able to bear, following that teaching was stressful and offered no comfort, no peace, no rest. It was a religious hamster wheel. Read Matthew 23:1-4. Jesus juxtaposes His teaching with that of the Pharisees. The Pharisees made pleasing God nearly impossible, but faith in Jesus releases us from this struggle. Again, Jesus invites us to be with Him. You Come MeYou Take My yoke…, but no one can come unless the Father, by the power of His Holy Spirit draws them and God is always drawing people to experience new life, rest in His Son Jesus (John 6:44).

So here are a few questions for us to consider today.

What are some things people labor for in our day?

What are some burdens people carry?

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9-11).

What are somethings you work for that has no eternal value?

What burdens, what heavy loads are you carrying today that you need to give to Jesus?

 

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2 thoughts on “An Invitation to Rest

  1. Looks like a good study. Is it what you are studying in Sunday school class? Thanks for sharing so we all can take part even remotely!

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