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The Great Invitation (A Study of Matthew 11:28-30) Part 1

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:

Feeling weary and burdened? Needing rest? But you know that there is a sense of satisfaction in significant and rewarding work, right? What demands are made of the follower of Jesus for this life? And how burdensome are those demands?

Notice, first of all —  the context of this incredible passage:
In Matthew 11 we have the story of John the Baptist’s disciples asking Jesus if He was the One to come (vv. 1-6). Jesus’ response to them was simply, “Report to John what you hear and see! Blessed are those who don’t stumble on account of me.”

Jesus then speaks of John as the messenger (vv. 7-10). As the “Elijah” who was to come as the Messiah’s forerunner, John lived an austere life. In fact, the Lord Jesus contrasts His and John’s lifestyles: John was austere and was accused of having a demon; Jesus’ lifestyle was social and He was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. (vv. 11-19).

The Lord Jesus then denounces the towns in which most of His miracles had been done (Chorazin, Capernaum), stating that it would be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon and Sodom on the day of judgment than for them! (vv. 20-24).

We then have a remarkable prayer from the Lord Jesus, praising His Father for revealing “these things” to “little children,” and not to the “wise and learned.” (vv. 25-26).

Jesus then makes the declaration that all things had been committed to Him by the Father and that 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 (v. 27).

We then have our text: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (vv. 28-30).

What does a survey of this chapter show us about the context of Jesus’ invitation in verses 28-30? Jesus is right to invite people to Himself, as the evidence to JTB’s disciples shows (vv. 2-6).

John and Jesus are contrasted in verses 7-19, showing John as an austere forerunner and Jesus as a sociable, winsome personality. But there is judgment for those cities (and people) who refuse to repent, as we see in verses 20-24.

We are able to eavesdrop on Jesus’ prayer to His Father in verses 25-27. The Father was pleased to reveal the hidden things to “little children.” Jesus makes the audacious claim in verse 27 that “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.”

We then have this incredible invitation in verses 28-30.

Today’s Challenge: What tentative conclusions would you draw from noticing the context of this great invitation?

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Posted by on July 20, 2020 in Matthew 11


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