Adult Service Matthew 11 REST

Jesus’ Favorite Word



Matthew 11:28–30 (CSB)

28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

1. This is not the message I thought I would preach today.

  1. But one thing I’m learning is to make plans, but be flexible.
  2. I actually prepared this message for Friday night.
  3. But I noticed in my preparation that this seemed to me to be the message that God was blessing for this weekend.
  4. I love preaching through series, but God has a different message for us today.
  5. This morning is my attempt to listen to God’s voice and to speak what He is wanting to say.
  6. Both Friday night and this morning, I feel that God wants to minister to our weariness.
  7. Our younger generations are anxious, stressed, depressed, and oppressed.
  8. And they are learning that from their parents and grandparents.
  9. They are internalizing what we are externalizing.
  10. The fact is, we are really good at doing things for Jesus but not good at “coming” to Jesus.
  11. We are doing a great job of teaching people how to work for Jesus, but not how to rest in Jesus.
  12. In our passage, I’m struck by Jesus’ invitation to come and learn from Him.
  13. First, the fact that He invites people like me at all is amazing.
  14. Then, Jesus invites people to learn from Him.
  15. He’s willing to teach us what we don’t know.
  16. He’s willing to show us what we can’t see.
  17. He’s willing to move us to where we couldn’t go.
  18. Jesus offers us the opportunity to learn how to live our lives with Him.
  19. And Jesus isn’t stressed out.
  20. Jesus isn’t frantic.
  21. Jesus takes naps.
  22. Jesus gets away from crowds to pray and rest.
  23. Jesus offers to teach us His ways, and His ways lead to a life that is characterized by rest and calm.
  24. Why does Jesus do this in this passage?
  25. Because Jesus knows how burdened they were.
  26. Jesus sees the cares that we try to hide from everyone.
  27. He sees the weight on our shoulders, and He gives us an invitation.

3. Jesus sees how stressed and burdened His people are.

  1. Jesus is teaching a crowd, and He knows that they are stressed and burdened.
  2. Most of their burden came from their religious culture.
  3. They were taught that to be a “good Jew”, to be a good person, they had to fulfill all of these extra requirements.
  4. Not just the requirements of the Old Testament.
  5. I’m talking extra requirements that their rabbis required.
  6. The Jewish people weren’t trying to please God, they were trying to please their religious leaders.
  7. It was exhausting
  8. And they were failing.
  9. So Jesus calls out to them:
  10. Come to me all who are weary and burdened.
  11. An older Bible says, “all who are heavy ladened”.
  12. That’s a picture of people with a huge burden on their back.
  13. It’s carrying a load you weren’t meant to carry, for a longer time than you can stand.
  14. It is the picture of someone hunched over from the weight, ready to fall down and not get back up again.

4. Jesus offers them a different “yoke”.

  1. A yoke was a piece of equipment that tied two animals together.


  1. A wooden piece that the necks go into.
  2. It tied the animals to the load and to each other so the animals could pull them together.
  3. Over time, the yoke would rub and fit the animal more perfectly.
  4. Kind of like wearing a pair of shoes will mold it to your feet.
  5. The Wrong yoke or unequal yokes are painful and                                      frustrating.
  6. When the yoke wasn’t right, the work to be done would either take a lot longer or couldn’t be done.
  7. Last night I did an Illustration with Boys doing pushups.

1 with minimal weight. (no friend)

1 with medium weight (one friend)

1 with enough weight to guarantee failure. (3 friends)

  1. Pushups are hard enough.
  2. But trying to carry unnecessary weight makes it impossible.
  3. Jesus didn’t come to make your life impossible.
  4. Jesus said, My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
  5. Two things:
  6. If you are in one side of the yoke, who is on the other side?
  7. It’s Jesus.
  8. Jesus would be in the other side.
  9. But this is only true if you and Jesus are in the same yoke.
  10. It isn’t the yoke you brought with you.
  11. That one doesn’t fit Jesus.
  12. It fits your friends, it fits your worldview, it fits what everyone else is doing.
  13. But it doesn’t fit Jesus, so He brings His own.
  14. Next, it is you and Jesus pulling the load together.
  15. There is a load.
  16. There is a yoke.
  17. BUT you are pulling it WITH Jesus.
  18. And that load is not unnecessarily heavy.
  19. I’m always amazed at the size of the purses and bags some ladies carry.
  20. Some of you ladies carry a bag BIGGER than you.
  21. Question: How many wives carry stuff in your purse for your husband?
  22. Can I help you out for a minute:
  23. Men’s pants have pockets, use them.
  24. Women carry all kinds of stuff.
  25. Then you wonder why your neck hurts, back hurts, and shoulders hurt.
  26. You go through life, carrying all of this stuff that you weren’t designed to carry every single day.
  27. Jesus offers what no one or nothing can offer.
  28. “Jesus doesn’t promise escape from reality, but he promises the right equipment to deal with it.”[1]
  29. There is something to carry, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to feel like work.
  30. God certainly calls us to do hard things.
  31. He certainly calls us to challenging things.
  32. But it isn’t crushing

5. Let’s talk about the wrong yokes.

  1. What are some of the wrong yokes we put on?

#1. Wrong relationships.

  1. They add more stress.
  2. It is so important to surround yourself with people who encourage you to follow Jesus.
  3. Wrong relationships create “unequally yoked” situations.


  1. When the partners are not yoked equally, one of the partners really suffers.

#2. Wrong expectations.

  1. Expectations are so important.
  2. How we view the world and how the world views us.
  3. When expectations are not even, and do not meet reality, resentment builds.
  4. And Anxiety.
  5. And Depression.
  6. And Anger.

#3. Doing it alone.

  1. These yokes are designed to be run in teams.
  2. Some of you aren’t in bad relationships or using drugs or nothing like that.
  3. Nope, you are doing it all by yourself and it doesn’t work.
  4. The yoke you were designed to pull was designed to be done as a team, with Jesus.

6. Jesus’ favorite word: Come.

  1. My favorite word is probably Go.
  2. When I go and I’m busy, I feel better about myself.
  3. When I tell my dog “do you want to go for a ride, even she loves it.”
  4. But my dog also loves it when I say,
  5. “Come here”!”
  6. Not angry, like when I’m mad at her for running off.
  7. But she loves it when I’m excited about her presence and I want her to come spend time with me.
  8. My dog knows the difference when I ask her to “come”.
  9. Jesus isn’t angry with this group.
  10. He isn’t angry that they are tired, or weary, or stressed, or burdened.
  11. Sometimes, I get frustrated with people who are tired or stressed.
  12. I’m not always the most patient with those who are hurting or frustrated.
  13. That doesn’t bother Jesus.
  14. He sweetly says “Come to me, ALL who are weary.”
  15. Did you notice who are invited?
  16. Jesus said ALL.
  17. That means you.
  18. Before you can “go” for Jesus, you have to “come” to Jesus.

7. Jesus gives real rest.

  1. The presence of rest means that there is work.
  2. The reality is that your work looks very different than mine.
  3. But my work looks different than other peoples.
  4. My work is very mental and relational.
  5. Maybe your work is very physical.
  6. Jesus doesn’t invite you to a life of sitting around.
  7. I bet some of you feel tired all the time.
  8. Even when you sleep late, or don’t do anything but watch YouTube or play video games.
  9. That’s because those things do not provide real rest.
  10. They provide an illusion of rest but not the real thing.
  11. Jesus invites you to a life of productivity but also rest.
  12. The idea of “rest” is more like “peace”.
  13. Not striving,
  14. Not trying to “earn” your keep.
  15. This is where I am at.
  16. When I’m not frantically running from meeting to meeting, and call to call, and emergency to emergency, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough.
  17. I act like that it is a sin to NOT BE STRESSED and overwhelmed.
  18. Jesus offered “rest” as a badge of honor, and we offer “stressed”.
  19. Rest is a completeness and belonging.
  20. I bet many of you wish you could just “belong”.
  21. Jesus offers a rest that you can’t find anywhere else.
  22. And HE says, COME.
  23. IF you are tired, COME.
  24. If you are burdened, COME.
  25. IF you are worried, NO problem, COME.
  26. If you haven’t been living right, COME.
  27. Jesus’ favorite word is “COME” and He is talking to you.


Close: Today, I invite anyone who is overloaded to come to Jesus.

  1. In just a moment, I’m going to ask you to come to the front and pour your heart out to Jesus.
  2. And know that, when you come to the front of a church, you aren’t coming to the preacher.
  3. You are coming to Jesus.
  4. I really feel like today is the time for you to pour your heart out to Jesus.
  5. Some of you are so overwhelmed.
  6. You are anxious and stressed all the time.
  7. You wouldn’t normally say that you were “weary and heavy ladened” but you carry such a heavy load all the time you just wonder how much more you can take.
  8. I feel like today is a time to unburden your soul.
  9. Today is a time to unpack your backpack and remove some of the extra burdens you have been carrying.
  10. Some of you are carrying loads you weren’t intended to carry.
  11. Just because someone else can carry it, it doesn’t mean you are supposed to.

[1] O’Donnell, Douglas Sean. 2013. Matthew: All Authority in Heaven and on Earth. Edited by R. Kent Hughes. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.


Comments are disabled.