The Great Invitation (A Study of Matthew 11:28-30) Part 6
Friends: I consider it a great privilege to work on my blog every day. And for the next few posts I’ll be examining one of my favorite passages, Matthew 11:28-30. This is a text worthy of memorization (which I’m very bad at). I want to slowly go through these verses with you and see as much as we can, with the Holy Spirit’s help. Here’s that famous text for us to examine once again:
We’ve looked at the context of this incredible invitation and a bit at the Koiné Greek, seeing certain terms repeated with a variety of important implications. We began outlining the passage and noticed that Jesus’ invitation is a qualified one: He invites not all, but all who are weary and burdened.
I. The Great Invitation (v. 28): “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . .”
Let’s continue our study and notice the second major truth in this text: Jesus’ promise!
II. The Great Promise (v. 28): “and I will give you rest.”
The term “rest” here is ἀναπαύσω, the Future Active Indicative of ἀναπαύω. Used 12 times in the New Testament, this verb means “to rest, be refreshed; (act.) to give rest.” The term can mean “to soothe, refresh.” The verb is used in Matthew 26:45 about the disciples in the garden “taking their rest.” In Mark 6:31 Jesus invites His disciples to “come away by yourselves to some deserted place and rest a while.” The indolent farmer, who gave no real thought to his soul, says to himself in Luke 12, “Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years; take your rest, eat, drink, be merry.” (v. 19).
The Apostle Paul speaks of believers who “refresh” each other (I Cor. 16:18; Philemon 7) or have been refreshed by others (2 Cor. 7:13). Paul even asks Philemon to “refresh my heart in Christ” (Philemon 20). Those who “die in the Lord” are told to “rest from their labors, because their deeds follow them!” (Rev. 14:13).
Soft drinks claim to bring real refreshment! But true soothing or rest comes from the Lord — as a gift to those who come to Him! If our passage is a gospel passage, then this idea of “rest” may well refer to the concept of ceasing from one’s exhausting labors to get oneself right with God. As a loyal Coke drinker, I do find it “delicious and refreshing.” But when it comes to spiritual matters, we can’t “refresh ourselves”! We need to come to the One who offers that rest and refreshment!
Today’s Challenge: Take a hard look at your life this morning. Would you say you have found REST in the Lord? Is your walking with Him refreshing, soothing? If not, why not?
Our latest book, Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World, has just been released. This is a call to becoming a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus was! You can order this through Amazon or directly from me (send $10 [which includes shipping] to my address).
Dr. Larry Dixon
117 Norse Way
Columbia, SC 29229 Cell: 803-201-9745