Matthew 11:1-30 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Come To Me and Rest
Comments for Study 16

Matthew 11:1-30
Memory Verse: 28

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I. The Work of God Through John and Jesus (1-19)

>1. What did Jesus do after he finished instructing his twelve disciples? Where was John the Baptist at the time?

Matthew 11:1 "After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee."

* "After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples" -This sentence is a conclusion to the previous chapter. However, being at the beginning of this chapter does not necessarily mean that the rest of this chapter is next in chronological order.

* "he went out from there to teach and preach" -Jesus sent out his disciples to teach but he himself did not stop teaching and preaching.

>2. Why were John's disciples discouraged? (Luke 3:11-20) What did John send his disciples to ask Jesus? Why? What did Jesus tell these disciples to report to John?

Matthew 11:2 "When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples "

* "When John heard in prison" -John had been put in prison by Herod the Great because Herod's wife did not like John's preaching.

* "heard...what Christ was doing" -John knew that Jesus was the Christ. In the beginning of the Gospel of John, which was the beginning of Jesus' ministry, it is said that John said, "Look the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." (See below notes for more on this subject.)

How did John hear what Jesus was doing? His disciples would have told him.

* "was doing" -Jesus' teaching, healing and preaching made for big news. But, much different that John's like Jesus ate, drank, moved around from village to town, and kept company of common sinners. This would have too caught John's attention.

* "sent his disciples" -John, like Jesus had disciples. In fact because of what John the Apostle wrote in his gospel it could even be said that some of Jesus' disciples were John the Baptists disciples.

Matthew 11:3 "to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

* "to ask him" -It can be asked, what was John's motive in sending his disciples to ask Jesus these questions? Was he discouraged? Perhaps in some respect he was; not for himself, but more for his disciples. With John in prison his disciples would have lost direction for they were only looking to John for direction. To John's disciples it would look like evil was winning. So perhaps to help out his disciples John sent them to Jesus for deliverance.

* "Are you the one who was to come" -Throughout the history of mankind, and especially through the history of Israel this question has been asked. In the time of Jesus and just before it, this question was asked perhaps more than ever. And there were some who said yes. They were false messiahs. John knew that Jesus was not a false messiah. Jesus' Messiahship was shown to both John's and Jesus' parents who were close relatives (Mary, Jesus' mother, was a niece to Elizabeth, John's mother.) Why then did John ask this question?

I can think of two good possibilities. First, Because John was having doubts about Jesus' Messiahship. But this reason is the least likely of the two because of all that John had previously said about Jesus. (See above for notes on that and see John 1:26-36; 3:22-36). Also Jesus himself said, "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see?'" Therefore John was a man of strong faith and strong character. Thirdly, because John's life of self control and self denial in the desert was hard so that prison would not have been much harder. However, it still could have been the reason why John asked this question. Imprisonment could have become a great discouragement and source of doubt. Also, Jesus' life compared to John's might have puzzled John. John may have not understood exactly what Jesus was doing, He could have begun to wander, what has Jesus doing? Was he doing the work of the Messiah. Thus it would stand to reason that John would send his disciples to ask this question.

When trouble comes to a persons life in the way it did to John we can wonder why God doesn't come to our aid. At that time we should do as John and go to Jesus, sending a message to him through prayers and petitions. In our prayers we should ask ourselves, who is Christ and what is he doing in my trouble times.

The second possible reason for John's question would be to give his disciples one more try to see that Jesus is the Messiah and thus should follow Jesus instead of himself. This is understood more in the fact that John himself told those who came to him in the desert in John 3:30, "He must become greater; I must become less." John knew that his disciples must and would follow Jesus. In fact that is why he testified about him. So perhaps this was another attempt by John to direct more of his disciples to Jesus.

When John pointed out to his disciples that Jesus was the Messiah only a few followed. One would think that all of them would have. Why didn't all of them follow Jesus? They could have judged Jesus wrongly or had prejudices about Jesus because of his different life style compared to John's. This might have caused John's disciples from not following Jesus. He just didn't fit their idea of a man of God. Also, it might have been hard for them to understand why a holy and devout man (this based on their ideas of a man of God) was in prison, and a lesser man of God, Jesus was not. Therefore, John may have been leading the to Jesus so that their misperception of him and their idea of what is a man of God would go away.

>3. How does Jesus' answer show him to be the Messiah? (Isaiah 29:18,19; 35:5,6; 61:1: cf. Deut. 18:15) How did his answer tell John that God is still working? What should we learn here about the work of God? What does verse 6 mean?

Matthew 11:4-6, "Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: [5] The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. [6] Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

* Which ever of the two reasons for John's question that I mentioned above Jesus answer was sufficient.

* Jesus did not answer them directly. He left them room to think about it so that their decision would be based on faith in the facts that God had given them. This is the way God works. For example, God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, not by Jesus telling him, but by in the heart and then to the mind.

* Jesus knew what John wanted and knew that the authority of God would answer the question. So Jesus answered by fulfilling Isaiah 29:18-10; 35:5-6; 61:1; Deut. 18:15 and Psalms 72:2,4,12,13 at that very moment. Jesus, most likely answered John in this way so that John's disciples (or perhaps John himself) would know beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus is the Messiah. At the same time those who were around Jesus when this question would answer would not have the question answered directly. Thus Jesus avoided the Messianic fervor of the Jews in those days.

Whenever it was time to reveal that Jesus was the Messiah it was always done indirectly. Even when God the Father revealed that Jesus was the Messiah to the disciples he did it through the mouth of Peter. Jesus never denied that he was the Messiah. He did say that he was the Messiah, but usually not in direct words. There were times, especially at the end that he claimed to be the Son of God and Elohim JHWH.

Also Jesus answer to John would have been an encouragement to him. John could see that God was still working in the hearts of people. Many were coming to repentance and salvation. Even though one of God's workers was in jail, God was working on the outside of the prison to save souls through another worker. From man's point of view, John's, it didn't appear to be a great time for God's words to be taught, but in God's point of view it was. For example, when Moses died the Israelites would have thought, how now will God's work of bringing us into the promised land be fulfilled. God did fulfill his work through another, Joshua.

* Jesus shows that the work of God is fulfilling his word. Jesus also shows fulfilling prophecy (God's will) is to be done over fulfilling human desire. If we focus on our own desires, many could fall away and/or not come to the knowledge of salvation.

* The verses that Jesus fulfilled to show that he was the Messiah shows the power, love and mercy of God.

* Jesus healing ministry supported the good news "which is the power of God unto salvation."

* "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." -There are many reasons to have prejudices against Jesus: physical appearance, education in a small town (Nazareth), poverty, his followers and his disciples, the religious leaders rejected him, his doctrine, his sufferings, his preaching of suffering, suffering because of professing his name, the apparent loosening of the law, his acceptance of the Gentiles. Man's nature is that when they do not like someone, they seek out reasons to dislike them, even if those reasons are not based in relevant fact or even any truth what-so-ever.

>4. What did Jesus teach the crowd about how they must look at John and his ministry? (7-10)

Matthew 11:7-8, "As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? [8] If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces."

* "As John's disciples were leaving" -Jesus began praising John only after John's disciples left. Why? Perhaps so John's head would not "get big." Jesus, while on this earth, seldom praised his people before men. But he tells us that he will defiantly praise his good workers before God the Father on the day of judgement.

* "What did..." -Before Jesus teaches the crowd he pleads to them using logic.

* "A reed" -John preached even before Herod and the Pharisees. He did not compromise the truth to be accepted by men. These are not actions by a man who bends like a reed.

* "A man dressed in fine clothes" -John's life was a humble one.

Matthew 11:9-10, "Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. [10] This is the one about whom it is written: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'"

* "Then what did you go out to see?" -Jesus was saying that John's greatness was not defined by his clothes, nor his success and acceptance by men. Rather John's greatness was because he was accepted and blessing of God. The people who went out to him recognized this.

* "prophet" -According to Holman's Bible Dictionary, "Reception and declaration of a word from the Lord through a direct prompting of the Holy Spirit and the human instrument thereof...."The word prophetess means 'to speak before' or 'to speak for.' Thus it refers to one who speaks for God or Christ. Prophets were also called pneumatics (pneumatikos), 'spiritual ones' (1 Cor. 14:37)."

The people went out to John to seeks God's word, will, forgiveness and help. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what God did in our lives in the past before we can move onto greater revelations of him and his will for us.

* "more than a prophet" -Many authors call John the Baptist the last of the Old Testament prophets. But I consider this a wrongly categorization. Prophets were in the Old Testament age and the New Testament age. Their use by God is the same in both. What Jesus says about John was that he was more than a prophet. What did he mean by this? Jesus answers that question by quoting the scripture about him. John's "more than" category is that he was the forerunner of the Messiah. Thus he was more than a prophet. He was a sign that the Messiah was soon to follow.

>5. What did Jesus teach the crowd about John? (11-15) About the value of citizenship in the kingdom of heaven? What does he teach about the work of God from John to Jesus? Before John? Why does Jesus refer to John the Baptist as Elijah? Why is it important to believe that John is the forerunner of Christ? (Malachi 4:5)

Matthew 11:11 "I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

* Jesus' point was not only to praise John, but because many thought highly of John, Jesus used their opinion of him to show how great those in the kingdom of God were. From Jesus' praise of John the Baptist it is clear what is held highly in the kingdom of heaven is much different than that which is held highly here. Also it is clear that what is not held highly in the kingdom of heaven is held highly here on earth.

* John was the greatest of the prophets because he and his ministry was closes to Jesus. He pointed to the Messiah and saw the Messiah while he was in the flesh. John also had greater revelations than the other prophets like the Holy Spirit coming down as a dove and resting on Jesus.

* The fact that those who were prophets before John spoke about John's ministry shows that John was the greatest prophet.

* John's greatness was in preparing people's hearts for the Messiah.

* Jesus respected John and paid him highest compliments. Jesus was blessing John's ministry and was building on the work that John started.

* "kingdom of heaven" -This refers to both those in the church age and when we physically die and go to heaven. We have been given the Holy Spirit freely and in full. We have Christ.

* In heaven we will be greater because we will know and proactive more love of Christ, praising God in his presence and receiving more.

* John was under the law, we are under grace.

Matthew 11:12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."

* "From the days of John the Baptist until now" - About two years.

* "forcefully advancing" -Matthew 21:31-32, Luke 16:16.

Matthew 11:13 "For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John."

* John was the link between two ages and in both. Like Noah, Abraham, and David was.

* In some respects, because John directed his follows to Jesus, he was the beginning of the Gospel (good news).

Matthew 11:14-15 "And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. [15] He who has ears, let him hear."

* "And if you are willing to accept it" -Just hearing (or reading) Jesus word is not what is good; accepting it is. Reading the Bible without absorbing it (accepting it) is easy to do. Even studying the Bible like I am now is not good if I don't let it make an impact in my soul and life. My Bible study must be to understand God and his will and accept it as my own.

Accepting Jesus' words about John being the Elijah would have been the stepping stone to many to accepting the greater truth that Jesus is the Messiah who was to come. Similarly, accepting seemingly "insignificant" parts of the Bible is often precludes to being revealed greater truths.

* "he is the Elijah" -John was not Elijah in the flesh as many thought in those days. But he was like Elijah in character (temperament) and preaching (conversation).

* "who was to come" -Malachi 4:5 says, "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes."

* John being "the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord" proves that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lord.

* "He who has ears, let him hear" -This means to listen, pay attention, think about what is being said. The greater truth that those people could have gained by accepting Jesus' words about John is obvious to me today. But as the saying goes, "Hind sight is twenty twenty." If I were back in those days would I have thought about these words of Jesus? I don't know. But what about now? Am I paying attention to what the pastors who are to oversee me are saying? Do I pay attention to the word of God as I read and study it?

>6. Why were the people of Jesus' generation especially blessed? How did Jesus describe their despair and indifference? (16-20) How does Jesus describe his own conviction that God is working? (19b)

Matthew 11:16-19 "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: [17] " 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' [18] For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' [19] The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." 'But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

* "generation" -The body of Jewish people who were alive in Jesus' time.

* "children sitting in the marketplaces" -Children who go with their parents to the market don't go for the real reason to go to a market. They come along because their parents go. Thus they often fool around with each other. The religious leaders were just like that.

* "flute...dirge" -They were like children at a wedding or a funeral. They were there and saw everything, but really didn't understand what was going on. They did not comprehend the situation. They did not personalize what was being done and said. They were not moved. Jesus was saying that his generation (especially the Pharisees and teachers of the Law) saw John and Jesus but neither laughed and accepted Jesus, nor mourned and repented with John. The point of Jesus was that the religious leaders were not serious about the word of God.

So no matter what method of preaching, John's or Jesus', if the heart is right God uses it to help us to turn to him and do his will. 1 Corinthians 9:22 says, "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." The method of teaching and preaching is not necessarily what makes the word penetrate the heart.

* "and they say..." -If people won't receive the word of God they often malign the people who bring it.

* "But wisdom is proven right by her actions" -If a person acts with wisdom, the wisdom he chose will be shown right in the outcome of the action. Jesus is wisdom. In Jesus are hidden treasures of wisdom. The gospel is wisdom. One who acts by accepted it will be found to be wise in the end.

II. Come To Me and Rest (20-30)

>7. In which cities had Jesus done most of his mighty works? What response to this great love of God did Jesus long to see? Why was he sorrowful? (Note the cities with which he compared them.)

Matthew 11:20 "Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent."

* These cities were cities that Jesus preached in. Wisdom had come and wisdom was preached, but the people of the city did not act on the wisdom. They did not repent. Thus in the end their rejection of wisdom will be shown. Jesus denouncement is just and right

* "most of his miracles had been performed" -Jesus did not denounce first. First Jesus performed miracles. But not only that, but from the gospels it is learned that he also taught extensively in those cities as well. We humans often condemn and give out harsh words before we try softer means of winning souls to wisdom.

* "because they did not repent" -God gives all mankind a choice. Not only the cities where Jesus had done most of his miracles were given a choice, but everyone is given choices. God made man to make choices. All had made wrong decisions in our life, but we choice not to do what is right, what is wise. Thus were are sinners in need of salvation and repentance. As long as one is alive in the body, they have yet a chance to chose what is wise. But if repentance is not made, if wisdom is not chosen, then denouncement will follow.

Jesus is sorrowful when cities and people do not respond to the word of God preached in them(no matter how much or how little) and thus repent. The people's hearts in these cities were not moved. One is judged not so much on what we did and didn't do, but on our heart attitude and what we could have done based on what we heard and believed if we believed as much as we should. People are judged according to the revelations of God given to us and how we reacted to that revelation. If we receive a lot God expects us to react according to that amount received.

Matthew 11:21-24 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. [22] But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgement than for you. [23] And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. [24] But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

* "Woe" -Woe means deep sorrow according to the Websters dictionary. In the Bible woe means more than that. Woe is an expression of sorrow because of known trouble, misfortune and destruction to come because one has not obeyed and/or accepted God and his word.

* "Korazin" -also spelled "Chorazin". This was a city less than five miles north of the Sea of Galilee. It's neighbor, Capernaum, was south of Korazin and was on shore of the Sea of Galilee. Korazin was on the eastern edge of the Plain of Gennesaret. Jesus' base was in Capernaum. Since Korazin was so close to Capernaum Jesus must have visited Korazin a lot. Jesus definitely would have went through Chorazin on his way to Tyre. Korazin is a possible sight of the Sermon of the Mount. Korazin has been excavated in modern times. It is a site were many Jews lived in Jesus' time. Korazin was considered a part of the promised land by God as said to Moses and was in the land of the Kingdom of David.

* "Bethsaida" -Bethsaida was on the northern shore of the see of Galilee. Bethsaida's neighbor, Capernaum was less than five miles to the west. Bethsaida was on the southern edge of the Plains of Bethsaida. Bethsaida is a possible sight of the feeding of the multitudes. Mark 8:22-26 says that Jesus healed a blind man in this city and Matthew 14:22-23 says that Jesus walked on water at this sight. It is a sight were many Jews lived in Jesus' time. Bethsaida was considered a part of the promised land by God as said to Moses and was in the land of the Kingdom of David.

At least three of Jesus' disciples were from Bethsaida. This was not enough repentance to justify saving Bethsaida from Jesus denouncement and God's eventual wrath. Just as in Abraham's day, Lot the righteous man, was not enough to save Sodom from destruction.

* "Tyre" -Tyre was a land of the Gentiles. It was on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Sidon was less than twenty miles to the north. Jesus visited it according to Matthew 15:21-28.

* "Sidon" -Sidon was a land of the Gentiles. It was on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Tyre was less than twenty miles to the south. Jesus possibly visited it when he visited Tyre in Matthew 15:21-28.

* "If the miracles that were performed in you" -Jesus spent most of his three year ministry in the area of these three town performing many miracles.

* "they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes" -The act of repenting is often misunderstood in these days and age. According to Today's Dictionary of the Bible "there are two Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1) The verb 'metamelomai' is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas. (2) 'Metanoeo' meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, and the cognate noun 'metanaia' are used of true repentance -a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments."

Jesus meant the latter, hence the words "sackcloth and ashes".

* "But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgement than for you." -The day of judgement is real. One day Jesus will come and judge the earth. All men and women's lives on this earth will be judged. But not all judgements will be the same. Some will be more bearable than others. Why? Because some peoples sin was greater than others. Thus they will be more ashamed. I wrote about the different judgments in my manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.

To the Jews, Sodom was an ancient lost city of great sin. Because of its sin, God judged Sodom in Abraham's time with fire and brim stone. Genesis 13:13 says, "Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord." Isaiah 3:9 says, "The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves." Jeremiah 23:14 says, "And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah." And there are many more such verses. All such case refer to the great sin of Sodom. Thus, those who reject Jesus as their Savior and Lord after the gospel has been preached to them are in for an unbearable time during judgement.

* "will you be lifted up to the skies...down to the depths" -In the Bible, up to the sky refers to the heavens, including the heaven where the Lord God is seated. The Bible calls down to the depths hell. Why do these directions indicate these places? Perhaps it is so, but I have always gotten the impression that heaven and hell are spiritual places that do not exist in this material universe.

* "Sodom...would have remained to this day" -When a city repents God holds back his wrath. Nahum 1:3 says, "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power..." For example, when God sent Jonah to preach judgement to Nineveh they repented. So God did not bring his wrath to them nor did he destroy them. Yet the next generation after Jonah returned to sinful and evil ways. But God did not judge them right away. Nineveh remained a city of influence for a couple more generations after that.

>8. On the other hand, why was he joyful and thankful to God? (25-27) Who are the "little children"?

Matthew 11:25-26 "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. [26] Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."

* "At that time" -Immediately after his denouncements. Jesus didn't dwell in one emotion to long. Jesus had self control, control over his emotions

* "I praise you Father" -Praising our heavenly Father often is good and needed, not for God, but for our own good.

* "Father" -God is our good father. He loves us and cares for us as a good father does.

* "Lord" -In Greek "kurios" from "kuros" (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title). It is translated as God, Lord, master, and Sir

* "Lord of heaven and earth" -Jesus addressed the controller of heaven and earth as Father. God did not only create heaven and earth, but he also controls it. Some say that God, after creation removed himself from creation to see how it would turn out. This is not so. Jesus confirms that God also controls heaven every day, minute, second, and micro-second.

* "you have hidden these things from the wise and learned" -God as controller of the universe also controls mankind. He controls every aspect of mankind, as a whole and on a individual level. He reveals things to those he wants to.

* "and revealed them to little children" -Jesus referred to his disciples as little children. They were not wise and learned. They did not go to Jerusalem to learn from the great Rabbi's of the time (Learning from a Rabbi was equivalent to attending a seminary school in my day.) They were just ordinary men, most fisherman, from small towns in a small country of the world. Yet they would be wise by listening to the secret things that Jesus was now teaching them.

Jesus always saw the work of God nearby, in the people around him.

* "For this was your good pleasure" -The things that God takes pleasure in is often not what we take pleasure in.

Matthew 11:27 "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."

* "All things have been committed to me by my Father" -Jesus has full control of everything. Revealing the truths of God, controlling the universe, revealing the Father, judgment, forgiveness, and mercy.

* "No one knows the Son except the Father" -This is shocking to me because we Christians say we have a personal relationship with Jesus. Yet, he says none of us knows him. But this is not surprising when I think about my relationship with my son and wife. I do have a personal relationship with them, but I really do not know them. I know some things about them, but I do not know their thoughts, I often do not understand the motivation of their actions, and I often wonder what their really thinking. Why do I think these things? Because I really do not know them.

* "no one knows the Father except the Son and those whom the Son chooses to reveal him" -Jesus confirms that he and he alone is the only true source of information about the Father. The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent after he ascended into heaven, is in fact the Spirit of Christ. Thus the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, is the one that now reveals the Father to us, and the words of Christ recorded in the Bible is also the way we can learn of the Father, but without the moving of the Holy Spirit in our hearts the words I read would be misinterpreted.

* "those whom the Son chooses" -God sovereignty.

>9. Why are people weary and burdened? What invitation does Jesus give us? How can we come to Jesus? How does he give rest?

Jesus Leading a Child

* See a painting of Jesus leading a child by an unknown artist to the right.

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [29] 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. [30] For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

* "Come to me" -Jesus invites us to come to him.

* "all" -No exclusions, except those who are weary and burdened. Jesus has an open door policy, yet he does not force people it. He invites us in, but the choice to come in is up to the person.

* "all you who are weary and burdened" -People are such by the world of curse and sin. The weary here is not from the lack of sleep or a hard days work, but it refers to life in general. If a person is weary and burdened and wonders why there is not rest, then these verses of invitation of Jesus are for you and me.

* "upon you and learn from me" -Jesus' invitation is not to do nothing. Rather it is to do God's work and learn from Jesus. With this knowledge and work is rest, Jesus' rest.

* "rest" -Rest means stop from and freedom from what it is that makes one weary and burdened and lastly settling the matter and assurance.

>10. What is a yoke? What does it mean to take Jesus' yoke? How does Jesus' yoke give us rest?

Yoked Oxen

* See a picture of yoked oxen to the right.

* "my yoke" -God's work; we work together with Jesus.

* "Take my yoke upon you" -A yoke is a wood farming device placed upon two beast of burdens so that together they may plow the field or tow a load. Thus the load is half of what it would be if only one was pulling the plow. A yoke also helps guide and direct the beast of burden in the direction the farmer wants to go.

Without Jesus all people carry around the yoke of sin and guilt. When one comes to Jesus, Jesus removes this heavy burden that makes one weary and puts on the light burden of God's work.

* "for I am gentle and humble in heart" -Jesus has eyes of mercy.

* "for your souls" -Thus Jesus is not talking about physical rest, but spiritual soul rest.

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