(For the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click Here)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
January 25, 2015
Jesus’ Offer of Rest
In John Bunyan’s classic analogy of the Christian life, Pilgrim’s Progress, the story begins with the character Pilgrim having a large and heavy burden upon his back. It weighs him down and makes everything that he does difficult. The first part of the story centers around Pilgrim’s efforts to find a way to get rid of the burden. It is not until Pilgrim comes to Jesus that he is freed. The rest of the story describes Pilgrim’s progress in the Christian life after he is freed his burden.
The analogy of a heavy burden on your back is a good description of what life is like apart from Jesus Christ. Even for the Christian, it can feel like the weight of the world is upon your shoulders when you are not walking with the Lord as you should or are striving to do things in your own power.
This morning we are going to be looking at Matthew 11:25-30 and Jesus’ offer of rest to those who are burdened and heavy-laden. This is one of those sections of Scripture that is loved by all because of the obvious love of the Savior demonstrated by His offer. This is certainly one of those passages in which gracious words fall from Jesus’ lips. But before we can understand the offer of rest, we must understand the setting of the offer.
The Setting of the Offer
Look at the beginning of verse 25, “At that time Jesus answered and said . . . “ Some have tried to gain the time setting by looking at Luke 10:21-23 where Jesus prays almost the same thing. However, the two events are not the same. Let us be sure and understand that Jesus certainly would have taught and done some of the same things more than once. The similarity of the two passages is only that Jesus prayed the same thing on both occasions. Luke 10 is not the parallel passage.
This passage begins in Matthew 11:20, but he only gives the general time setting and not a specific one. The general setting is that Jesus has been ministering in the region of Galilee (11:1). John the Baptist was in prison and was beginning to have some doubts. He sent two of his disciples to Jesus, and the Lord gave John confirmation that his original message was correct. Jesus is indeed the Expected One, (11:2-6) for He was fulfilling the prophecies concerning the Messiah including healing the sick and the lame, giving sight to the blind and raising the dead. (See: Dealing with Doubt) After John’s disciples left, Jesus gave a wonderful tribute to John saying that no human before John had been greater (11:7-15). (See: Marks of Greatness) Jesus then turned His attention to the critics of John and Himself in Matthew 11:16-19. (See: Reproaching Those Who Reject)
The critics were saying that John was demonized because of his austere manner of living while at the same time they were accusing Jesus of being a glutton and drunkard because He ate and drank what everyone else did. So John was too ascetic for them and Jesus was not ascetic enough. They also castigated Jesus for being a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners because they did not believe a man who was truly holy would have such associations. They were blind to the fact that their prideful self-righteousness was a greater stench in the nostrils of God than the sinfulness of the publicans and harlots.
Jesus said that they were childish like the kids in the market place who would not play the game the other children were playing even when they switched games. Nothing would satisfy them. These critics claimed to be the ones with wisdom, but wisdom is verified by its works, and their works proved them to be foolish.
Starting in Matthew 11:20, Jesus began a very strong reproach against the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because of their apathetic response to all that Jesus had done in those cities. Most of Jesus’ miracles had been done in those cities, yet they did not repent. Jesus’ words are stern and forceful. They would be judged harshly because they had rejected the great amount of grace that had been extended to them.
Jesus’ denunciation of His vocal critics and those that ignored Him is the setting, but He now changes to the opposite tone in presenting a wonderful and gracious offer. The offer begins with a prayer in Matthew 11:25-27 in which we find the prerequisites to receiving Jesus’ offer. Then in verses 28-30, Jesus describes the nature of the offer and its reward. Please follow along in Matthew 11:25-30.
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son will to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Prerequisites to the Offer – Humility. Matthew 11: 25-26
Jesus begins His prayer, “I praise You, Father.” This opening statement teaches us two things. First, praise is a fitting beginning to prayer. Second, Jesus is the son of God.
The tendency for most people when they pray is to jump right into petitions. People usually start or very quickly move into asking God for what they want and often forget to praise God. The reality is that praise is the proper beginning of prayer for, as Jesus points out in the next phrase, God is “Lord of heaven and earth.” God is the creator and master and so is worthy of our praise. God is not a cosmic vending machine whose purpose is to satisfy man’s desires. Too often people go to God as if He exists for their purposes when the reality is that God created man for His purposes.
The particular word translated here as praise, ejxomologe;w / exomoloe , gives emphasis to the importance of praise as part of prayer. This is not one of the more common words for praise, but is the one used in the Septuagint in the Psalms of Thanksgiving and praise and so reflects them. It is a compound word that has a basic meaning of “to agree with” or “to say the same thing” and came to be used to express praise to God for what He has done. In this passage we get the sense of Jesus’ praise of the Father rising out of His agreement and unanimity to what the Father has done. The same thing becomes increasingly true in your own life as you become more like Christ because you have a greater understanding and agreement with what God has done and is doing.
Second, notice that Jesus does not begin with the phrase, “Our Father,” as He did when teaching His disciples a model of prayer in Matthew 6. Neither does Jesus refer to God as Father in the universal sense as the Creator since He addresses that in the second phrase of the prayer, “Lord of heaven and earth.” When Jesus prays to God the Father, as He does here, Jesus simply addresses God as “Father.” (See: Matthew 11:25,26; Luke 10:21; 22:42; 23:34, 46; John 11:41; 12:27, 28; 17:1, 5, 11, 21, 24, 25). Jesus uses the phrase, “My Father” twice (Matthew 26:39,42) and Abba! Father! once (Mark 14:36) in speaking directly to God the Father. Jesus speaks to God the Father directly addressing Him simply as Father because of His unique relationship with Him that signifies His own deity. Jesus calls God “Father” because Jesus is the Son of God. The Jews of the time certainly understood what Jesus meant by this for Jesus’ enemies sought to stone Him for blasphemy for addressing God that way in John 10.
Jesus is the Messiah, God in human flesh, so it is no wonder that we find God the Son giving praise from a basis of unanimity to God the Father. The specific thing which was well pleasing in the eyes of the Father (vs 26) and the Son was that “Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.”
What was hidden from some and revealed to others? All that Jesus had been proclaiming and teaching to this point in His ministry. That includes the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus presented His kingdom program and the characteristics of true righteousness necessary to be part of it. Those such as the Scribes and Pharisees who only have the righteousness of an outward conformity to the demands of a religious system will not enter God’s kingdom.
That brings up the first prerequisite of receiving Jesus’ offer of rest. The offer may be universal, but only the humble of heart will hear and understand the offer being made.
We may wonder why Jesus is glad that the things of the kingdom were hidden from the wise and the intelligent. Some would even claim it would not be fair to do this reasoning that the kingdom would then only be for simpletons and the stupid. While there are plenty of intellectuals that claim that Christians lack intelligence to believe what we do, is having a low IQ a requirement for salvation? Of course not, a fact demonstrated by the very high IQ of many Christians and their accomplishments in every field of science, art, business and government.
The terms wise and intelligent are used here in the same way that Paul uses them in 1 Corinthians 1:18-29, 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God.
Jesus is using the terms wise and intelligent to refer to those who think they can do it their own way and so do not need a savior. They think they figure it all out on their own and provide for themselves. It is a reference to the foolish pride of mankind which schemes, plots and develops his own religion or philosophy so that he does not have to trust in God and His mercy and grace alone, but can somehow by his own effort achieve his own ends by his own means and methods. This was exactly what the religious leaders of Jesus’ time had done. They modified the Mosaic Law to the point that they actually thought they were keeping it and therefore were pleasing God to the point that He would have to let them be part of His kingdom. They ignored the warning of the prophets that even their righteous deeds were as filthy rags before the Holy God who created them (Isaiah 64:6).
That pride is still very much present today. It is found in all the false religions and philosophies which includes Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, paganism, secular humanism and all the rest. It is found in the many cults which claims some sort of tie to Christianity because they speak about Jesus and use New Testament terminology such as mercy, grace, faith, hope, salvation, etc., yet they often have different meanings for those words including having a different Jesus, and/or they achieve salvation by their own efforts. Even Christian denominations that at one time held to the truth have lost their way in the same manner as the Jewish leaders of old. They replace the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ alone with salvation in some system of works. The Roman Catholic church added doctrine through the ages that switched salvation through Christ to salvation through the church, from trust in Jesus to trust in Mary, from redemption from sin by God’s grace and mercy alone to redemption received by doing the meritorious works of the Sacraments.
Those within reformation heritages may not be any better because so many of them have traded the truth for their own liturgies and pet doctrines. My own heritage traces back to the beginning of the separatists in England and America and I grew up in Baptist churches, but I can’t begin to tell you how many Baptists I have run into over the years that have traded the gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone for a works based system. Their testimonies reveal that they have turned making a decision, or raising their hand at an evangelistic meeting, or walking an aisle at an altar call, or praying a prayer, or getting baptized into sacraments that save them. By their own words they claim salvation based on what they have done instead of what Jesus Christ has done for them.
God has always resisted the proud while giving grace to the humble (Ps. 138:6; Isa. 2:11,12; Mt 23:12; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). Jesus’ reference here is to those who are proud because they think themselves to be wise and intelligent and so refuse to come to God on God’s terms. God will resist such people and bring them down. At the same time, the humble, who are referred to in this text as “babes,” will be given grace and understanding of what the Father has revealed through Jesus’ preaching and teaching. This is well pleasing in the sight of God the Father.
The Prerequisites to the Offer – Revelation. Matthew 11:27
The second prerequisite to Jesus’ offer of rest is revelation. Verse 27 states, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” This verse reveals the unique relationship between God the Father and Jesus, God the Son, as well as states the necessity of Jesus’ work in a person’s life in order to be saved. It should remove all pride from anyone seeking God.
Romans 1:18-22 and many other passages make it clear that God has revealed Himself to all mankind enough through creation itself so that all are accountable to Him and without excuse. In addition, Jesus’ teachings were declared openly then and are freely available to all now in the Bible. The problem is not that the revelation of God is hidden, for it is hidden out in the open where anyone can examine it. In addition, Hebrews 11:6 among other passages declares that God will reward those that will believe and diligently seek after Him. The problem is that man’s pride blinds him to seeing what is in front of him, or as Paul states it in Romans 1:22, “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” Man will not seek God on his own (Romans 3:11).
Who is it that Jesus chooses to reveal the truth? He said in verse 25 that it was to babes – those who are humble. We saw this same truth in the Beatitudes. Entrance into the kingdom of heaven is given to those who are poor in spirit. Those who know they have nothing to give and nothing to offer God come to Him begging for mercy. God not only grants them mercy, but He also satisfies their hunger and thirst for righteousness. Jesus is more than willing to reveal the Father to those who humbly come seeking Him, but the truth will remain hidden from those who are proud.
The Nature of the Offer – a Call. Matthew 11:28
Those who are humble will respond to Jesus’ offer. The nature of His offer is found in verse 28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus’ offer is a call to all who are weary and heavy-laden to come to Him. Such a call involves a change in direction, and hence a change in life. In a word, it involves repentance.
John Bunyan illustrated this well in Pilgrim’s Progress. Pilgrim is walking the trail with this a huge pack on his back. He is weary and heavy-laden. Suddenly he hears a voice telling him to come over here if he wants to be released from the burden he is carrying. In order for Pilgrim to respond to the call, he must hear and heed the call. If Pilgrim had been proud to the point he was preoccupied with his own plans to get rid of his burden, he would not have even paid attention to the call. If he heard the call, but remained proud convinced that his own plans were better, he would continue on his journey according to his own wisdom with the burden still firmly attached to his back. He had to be humble to hear and heed the call. He had to recognize that he needed help to get the burden off his back for only then would he step off his current path and walk in a new direction according to the directions given to him by the call.
The first thing we see about the nature of the offer of rest that Jesus is making is that it is a call. The offer will not do you any good unless you heed the call. If you want rest from your burden, then you must be humble to respond to the call being given.
What is this heavy-burden that makes man so weary? It is man’s efforts to deal with his sin problem by his own means and methods. Sin is a heavy burden to begin with which is only compounded when man tries to take care of that sin himself. He is completely incapable of dealing with it on his own and can only make the problem worse. That is one of the reasons I find modern psychology to be so harmful. Man cannot “cure” himself of anything. The most he can do is trade one sinful attitude and practice for another deemed more acceptable to the individual or society, or drugs can be used to control emotions or behavior to within acceptable parameters. The sin may not present itself as obnoxiously as before, but it is still present, so there has been no cure. The drugs can mask the problem so that you can function, but the problem is still there and may be getting worse. It is like giving Tylenol to a cancer patient. The pain is relieved, so you feel better, but the cancer keeps growing. You must deal with the cancer.
A “cure” of sin is only accomplished when the person in both action and attitude does what God desires of him. The efforts of the Jewish religious leaders of the time only made the burden of sin heavier. Jesus described this specifically in such language in Matthew 23:4 saying of scribes and the Pharisees, “And they tie up heavy loads, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.” Peter describes this as well in Acts 15:10 when rebuking those who wanted Christians to follow Jewish religious rituals saying, “. . . why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?”
The same continues to be true today in all the religious systems that seek to gain access to God and freedom from sin in some manner other than coming to Christ and seeking the rest that only He can give. When a person hears and heeds the offer and comes to Christ, then rest is given for the bondage of sin is broken. A cure is given and a person can begin to live in a manner that is pleasing unto God. Access to God which was never available before regardless of how many acts of righteousness or penance a person did is now freely available through Jesus Christ. Christians are given rest for their souls and so are no longer weary and heavy-laden. Jesus exchanges the yoke of man made religion for the truth of His mercy and grace.
The Nature of the Offer – a Yoke. Matthew 11:29-30
The second aspect of the nature of Jesus’ offer of rest is that there is a new yoke. 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 in light.” Now some might say, “Wait a minute! Isn’t that just trading one burden for another? I thought you said Jesus was offering rest?” He is, but there is a yoke.
So what is a yoke? A yoke was a device that was placed upon an animal so that it could pull more comfortably and effectively. It was made out of wood and carved to fit the individual animal. That would provide part of the comfort. Since the yoke would also distribute the weight more evenly, it would also make it both easier and more comfortable to pull.
The term yoke was often used as a metaphor for submission. In particular it was used of students who attached themselves to a teacher to learn from him. For example, the ancient Jewish advice to students was, “Put your neck under the yoke and let your soul receive instruction.” The yoke in this passage symbolizes obedience to Jesus which includes learning His ways and following them. That is emphasized in the phrase following Jesus’ call to take his yoke – “and learn from Me.” To take on the yoke of Jesus is to become His disciple, and in following Jesus you will find a release from the heavy burden of sin that makes you weary and find rest in following His plan for your life.
The Offer’s Reward – Rest for Your Souls. Matthew 11:29-30
The reward of taking Jesus’ offer is a change of masters, a change of life, and rest for your souls according to verses 29 & 30. Jesus is no taskmaster. He is gentle and humble in heart. His yoke is easy meaning it is suitable and pleasant, or stated from the negative, it is not difficult to bear. His yoke does not afflict. The load of following Jesus’ commands in comparison to following the schemes of man or even your own way is light. A better fitting yoke and a lighter burden would be a wonderful reward all by itself, but Jesus also gives us rest for our souls.
There are several aspects of that rest. First, there is the sense in which there is a cessation of action, motion, labor, or exertion. All efforts at earning your own salvation cease. That impossible burden is removed, so you can be at rest.
Second, rest involves freedom from that which makes one weary or disturbs. Spiritually, Jesus gives those that come to Him freedom from the cares and distress that would rob them of peace and joy. This rest includes the peace that passes all understanding that comes from being able to bring every thing to Jesus in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7) and cast all of your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:5). You can leave all your cares in His hands for He cares for you.
Third, rest is something that is fixed and settled. To rest in Jesus includes the wonderful assurance that your eternal destiny is secure in Him. Your soul is no longer bothered by the uncertainties brought up by the philosophies of man or the ideas expressed in the various false religions and cults. You have the confident assurance that Jesus keeps all His promises including being with Him throughout eternity, and with that, there no longer has to be fear even of our great enemy, death. What comfort for the soul!
Fourth, rest also speaks of being confident and trustful. Jesus gives us God’s rest that not only assures us of eternity with Him, but also that “he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Jesus’ yoke gives your life meaning in both the present and for eternity. The quest of the soul for meaning and purpose is given rest.
And finally, rest describes being able to “lean, repose, or depend upon.” The rest that Jesus gives includes being made a fellow heir with Him and a child of God. Our heavenly Father will certainly supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). He will take care of us.
If you are here this morning and have not yet entered into the rest that Jesus offers, then be assured, the offer is being made to you now. The prerequisites are that you be humble and that He has revealed Himself to you. You will need to be humble enough to realize that you are a sinner in desperate need of the Savior. You need Jesus to release you from the burdens of guilt, shame, confusion and fear that you are carrying – all those things that are part of life without Jesus Christ. The revelation has been made to you this morning through God’s very Word, the Scriptures. If you understand what I have been talking about this morning, then Jesus has revealed Himself to you.
But now there is a decision that you must make. Jesus is calling to you – “Come to Me.” Will you go? It will require you to stop traveling on your current path and step out in a different direction. You will have turn your eyes away from the sinful enticements of this world and look to Him and step toward Him. The first step is confessing your sins to Him and asking for His forgiveness based on His death on your behalf on the cross of Calvary, and then asking Him to lead and guide you through life. He will do it. That is His promise. Every other step is simply walking in obedience to His commands for He is the master. Will you exchange your exhausting yoke and burden of doing things your own way or according to some religious system for the yoke of learning of Him and doing things His way? His yoke is easy, His burden is light. It enables you to fulfill the purpose for which God created you. The reward is His rest. Jesus is calling, will you heed His call and come?
For those of you have already placed yourself under Jesus’ yoke, continue to yield yourself to it so that you may continue in His rest. Even a well fitted yoke will cause chaffing to those who struggle against it thinking their way is better than God’s way. Give the Lord praise and thanksgiving for it and tell others about it and how they can also enter into Jesus’ rest.
Sermon Notes: Jesus’ Offer of Rest
The _____________of a heavy burden on your back is a good description of weight of sin in a person’s life
Jesus had been ministering in the region of Galilee and _________had been put in prison (Matthew 11:2-6)
Jesus commended ____________as the greatest of men up to that time (Matthew 11:7-15)
Jesus rebuked the critics of John and Himself as being _____________(Matthew 11:16-19)
Jesus reproached the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for their __________(Matthew 11:20-24)
Jesus changes His focus to presenting a wonderful and gracious ___________- Matthew 11:25-30
The Prerequisites to the Offer – Humility. Matthew 11: 25-26
Jesus starts with a prayer that begins with __________of His Father
People usually focus prayer on petitioning God for their requests, but __________is the proper way to start
Jesus’ prayer reflects the ____________of Thanksgiving and Praise
Jesus simply addresses God as __________when He prays because that is His unique relationship with Him
Jesus is the _________, God the Son in human flesh so He praises God from a basis of unanimity with Him
Jesus preached and taught publically, but only the __________of heart would hear and understand His offer
The terms wise and intelligent are used here in the same way that Paul uses them in 1 Corinthians ________
The _________think themselves to be wise and intelligent, but in the end they prove to be fools
____________is at the heart of all false religions, cults and legalism
No __________(work of righteousness) whether Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical can bring you salvation
Salvation is by God’s ____________alone through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone
God resists the proud (the self proclaimed “wise” and “intelligent,” but gives ______to the humble – “babes”
The Prerequisites to the Offer – Revelation. Matthew 11:27
Creation, Jesus’ public ministry and availability of the Bible show God “hid” His revelation in the ________
Man’s pride ____________him seeing or seeking God – Romans 1:22; 3:11
Jesus reveals the truth to “babes” – the _________who come “poor in spirit” to enter the kingdom – Matt. 5:3
The Nature of the Offer – a Call. Matthew 11:28
Jesus’ offer is to all who are weary and heavy-laden to come to Him – but that requires _____________
If you want rest from your burden of sin, you must be ____________to respond to Jesus’ call
Man cannot “____________” himself from anything sinful – he can only trade sins and try to numb its pain
Sin is cured only when there is ___________________and the person walks with God
Only by coming to Jesus Christ is the bondage to sin ___________so that there can be rest for the soul
The Nature of the Offer – a Yoke. Matthew 11:29-30
A yoke is a device that was placed upon an animal so that it can ________more comfortably and effectively
A yoke is used metaphorically for _________________
The Offer’s Reward – Rest for Your Souls. Matthew 11:29-30
_____is gentle & humble of heart, not a taskmaster. His yoke is easy – suitable, pleasant, not difficult to bear
1) Rest: Cessation of action, motion, labor, or exertion. All efforts at ___________your own salvation cease
2) Rest: Freedom from that which makes one weary or disturbs. Philippians 4:6-7; ________________
3) Rest: That which is fixed & settled. Jesus keeps all His _______________
4) Rest: The state of being confident and trustful. Jesus will ____________His work in you – Philippians 1:6
5) Rest: To lean, repose, or depend upon. Jesus makes you a fellow heir, a child of God, a _______of heaven
Jesus’ offer is still open to those who are ______________and will go to Him
Will you exchange your exhausting yoke for His easy yoke of learning and ______________ Him?
Believers: Don’t struggle against Jesus’ yoke – give Him ___________for it and tell others its benefits
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the word “offer” is mentioned. Talk with your parents about the meaning of Jesus offer of rest and how you can accept His offer.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. If you have read John Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress,” what it the point of the story? Why is a heavy burden carried on the back a good analogy for sin in a person’s life? What had Jesus been doing just before He makes His offer of rest in Matthew 11:25-30? Whom has He commended? Whom has He rebuked and why? Why does Jesus start His prayer with praise? What is your normal habit in prayer? How does Jesus’ example affect you? Why does Jesus address God simply as “Father.” What does this indicate about the identity and nature of Jesus? Who is Jesus referring to by the terms “wise and intelligent” in this passage. Explain. Can only those who are simpletons and stupid – a low IQ – eligible for salvation? Explain. Why is Jesus glad that revelation is only given to “babes” and not the “wise and intelligent”? Who are the “babes”? How do false religions and cults block the revelation of God? How does legalism block the gospel? What is the danger of approaching decisions, altar calls, praying or baptism as sacramental in nature. What do you think of the statement: Salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone ? Why is humility a requirement to receive Jesus’ revelation? Jesus’ offer begins with a call – what is required to heed that call? Can man “cure” himself of his sin problem? Explain. What is the cure for sin? What is a yoke? What is the metaphorical meaning of yoke as used by Jesus in this passage? What is the importance of Jesus saying that He is “gentle and humble” in relation to this yoke? How is that yoke “easy” and His load “light”? How can Jesus’ offer bring rest for your soul according to each of the following definitions of rest: 1) Cessation of action, motion, labor, or exertion. 2) Freedom from that which makes one weary or disturbs. 3) Something that is fixed and settled. 4) Speaks of being confident and trustful. 5) Able to “lean, repose, or depend upon.” Have you entered Jesus’ rest? If not, what is blocking you from doing so? If so, how are you praising God for it and sharing that news with others.
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