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.
- But one thing I’m learning is to make plans, but be flexible.
- I actually prepared this message for Friday night.
- But I noticed in my preparation that this seemed to me to be the message that God was blessing for this weekend.
- I love preaching through series, but God has a different message for us today.
- This morning is my attempt to listen to God’s voice and to speak what He is wanting to say.
- Both Friday night and this morning, I feel that God wants to minister to our weariness.
- Our younger generations are anxious, stressed, depressed, and oppressed.
- And they are learning that from their parents and grandparents.
- They are internalizing what we are externalizing.
- The fact is, we are really good at doing things for Jesus but not good at “coming” to Jesus.
- We are doing a great job of teaching people how to work for Jesus, but not how to rest in Jesus.
- In our passage, I’m struck by Jesus’ invitation to come and learn from Him.
- First, the fact that He invites people like me at all is amazing.
- Then, Jesus invites people to learn from Him.
- He’s willing to teach us what we don’t know.
- He’s willing to show us what we can’t see.
- He’s willing to move us to where we couldn’t go.
- Jesus offers us the opportunity to learn how to live our lives with Him.
- And Jesus isn’t stressed out.
- Jesus isn’t frantic.
- Jesus takes naps.
- Jesus gets away from crowds to pray and rest.
- Jesus offers to teach us His ways, and His ways lead to a life that is characterized by rest and calm.
- Why does Jesus do this in this passage?
- Because Jesus knows how burdened they were.
- Jesus sees the cares that we try to hide from everyone.
- He sees the weight on our shoulders, and He gives us an invitation.
3. Jesus sees how stressed and burdened His people are.
- Jesus is teaching a crowd, and He knows that they are stressed and burdened.
- Most of their burden came from their religious culture.
- They were taught that to be a “good Jew”, to be a good person, they had to fulfill all of these extra requirements.
- Not just the requirements of the Old Testament.
- I’m talking extra requirements that their rabbis required.
- The Jewish people weren’t trying to please God, they were trying to please their religious leaders.
- It was exhausting
- And they were failing.
- So Jesus calls out to them:
- Come to me all who are weary and burdened.
- An older Bible says, “all who are heavy ladened”.
- That’s a picture of people with a huge burden on their back.
- It’s carrying a load you weren’t meant to carry, for a longer time than you can stand.
- 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”.
- A yoke was a piece of equipment that tied two animals together.
- A wooden piece that the necks go into.
- It tied the animals to the load and to each other so the animals could pull them together.
- Over time, the yoke would rub and fit the animal more perfectly.
- Kind of like wearing a pair of shoes will mold it to your feet.
- The Wrong yoke or unequal yokes are painful and frustrating.
- When the yoke wasn’t right, the work to be done would either take a lot longer or couldn’t be done.
- 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)
- Pushups are hard enough.
- But trying to carry unnecessary weight makes it impossible.
- Jesus didn’t come to make your life impossible.
- Jesus said, My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
- Two things:
- If you are in one side of the yoke, who is on the other side?
- It’s Jesus.
- Jesus would be in the other side.
- But this is only true if you and Jesus are in the same yoke.
- It isn’t the yoke you brought with you.
- That one doesn’t fit Jesus.
- It fits your friends, it fits your worldview, it fits what everyone else is doing.
- But it doesn’t fit Jesus, so He brings His own.
- Next, it is you and Jesus pulling the load together.
- There is a load.
- There is a yoke.
- BUT you are pulling it WITH Jesus.
- And that load is not unnecessarily heavy.
- I’m always amazed at the size of the purses and bags some ladies carry.
- Some of you ladies carry a bag BIGGER than you.
- Question: How many wives carry stuff in your purse for your husband?
- Can I help you out for a minute:
- Men’s pants have pockets, use them.
- Women carry all kinds of stuff.
- Then you wonder why your neck hurts, back hurts, and shoulders hurt.
- You go through life, carrying all of this stuff that you weren’t designed to carry every single day.
- Jesus offers what no one or nothing can offer.
- “Jesus doesn’t promise escape from reality, but he promises the right equipment to deal with it.”
- There is something to carry, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to feel like work.
- God certainly calls us to do hard things.
- He certainly calls us to challenging things.
- But it isn’t crushing
5. Let’s talk about the wrong yokes.
- What are some of the wrong yokes we put on?
#1. Wrong relationships.
- They add more stress.
- It is so important to surround yourself with people who encourage you to follow Jesus.
- Wrong relationships create “unequally yoked” situations.
- When the partners are not yoked equally, one of the partners really suffers.
#2. Wrong expectations.
- Expectations are so important.
- How we view the world and how the world views us.
- When expectations are not even, and do not meet reality, resentment builds.
- And Anxiety.
- And Depression.
- And Anger.
#3. Doing it alone.
- These yokes are designed to be run in teams.
- Some of you aren’t in bad relationships or using drugs or nothing like that.
- Nope, you are doing it all by yourself and it doesn’t work.
- The yoke you were designed to pull was designed to be done as a team, with Jesus.
6. Jesus’ favorite word: Come.
- My favorite word is probably Go.
- When I go and I’m busy, I feel better about myself.
- When I tell my dog “do you want to go for a ride, even she loves it.”
- But my dog also loves it when I say,
- “Come here”!”
- Not angry, like when I’m mad at her for running off.
- But she loves it when I’m excited about her presence and I want her to come spend time with me.
- My dog knows the difference when I ask her to “come”.
- Jesus isn’t angry with this group.
- He isn’t angry that they are tired, or weary, or stressed, or burdened.
- Sometimes, I get frustrated with people who are tired or stressed.
- I’m not always the most patient with those who are hurting or frustrated.
- That doesn’t bother Jesus.
- He sweetly says “Come to me, ALL who are weary.”
- Did you notice who are invited?
- Jesus said ALL.
- That means you.
- Before you can “go” for Jesus, you have to “come” to Jesus.
7. Jesus gives real rest.
- The presence of rest means that there is work.
- The reality is that your work looks very different than mine.
- But my work looks different than other peoples.
- My work is very mental and relational.
- Maybe your work is very physical.
- Jesus doesn’t invite you to a life of sitting around.
- I bet some of you feel tired all the time.
- Even when you sleep late, or don’t do anything but watch YouTube or play video games.
- That’s because those things do not provide real rest.
- They provide an illusion of rest but not the real thing.
- Jesus invites you to a life of productivity but also rest.
- The idea of “rest” is more like “peace”.
- Not striving,
- Not trying to “earn” your keep.
- This is where I am at.
- 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.
- I act like that it is a sin to NOT BE STRESSED and overwhelmed.
- Jesus offered “rest” as a badge of honor, and we offer “stressed”.
- Rest is a completeness and belonging.
- I bet many of you wish you could just “belong”.
- Jesus offers a rest that you can’t find anywhere else.
- And HE says, COME.
- IF you are tired, COME.
- If you are burdened, COME.
- IF you are worried, NO problem, COME.
- If you haven’t been living right, COME.
- Jesus’ favorite word is “COME” and He is talking to you.
Close: Today, I invite anyone who is overloaded to come to Jesus.
- In just a moment, I’m going to ask you to come to the front and pour your heart out to Jesus.
- And know that, when you come to the front of a church, you aren’t coming to the preacher.
- You are coming to Jesus.
- I really feel like today is the time for you to pour your heart out to Jesus.
- Some of you are so overwhelmed.
- You are anxious and stressed all the time.
- 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.
- I feel like today is a time to unburden your soul.
- Today is a time to unpack your backpack and remove some of the extra burdens you have been carrying.
- Some of you are carrying loads you weren’t intended to carry.
- Just because someone else can carry it, it doesn’t mean you are supposed to.