2022-3-20 “Come to Jesus”

Cornerstone EPC                                                                                           Sunday morning
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                                       March 20, 2022

“Come to Jesus”
Matthew 11:28-30

We have looked, during the past two weeks, at troublesome issues in Christian practice—and we have looked at their solutions.  Two weeks ago we dealt with discontent, and we noted that Christ is the secret to contentment—and, thus, the antidote to discontent (Philippians 4:10-13).  Last week we dealt with anxiety, and we saw that the path to the peace of God is to present all our requests to Him—with thanksgiving accompanying (Philippians 4:6-7).  Today we look at discouragement—especially discouragement engendered by weariness.  Let’s hear Jesus own words, from Matthew’s Spirit-led pen, read and proclaimed once again in this place.


The thrust of this text, primarily, is evangelistic.  Jesus, in the verses we consider today, addresses the sin-sick, the sin-sore, the sin-burdened.  He calls to the one weighed down by sin, to the one aching from its ravages upon himself and others, and to the one utterly disgusted at his sinful self and the wreckage his sin has inflicted upon both him and others.  To these, who find themselves ready to shuck their sin in favor of something else, Jesus issues His most welcome invitation: “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden….”

Jesus promises His rest to all who come.  Implicit in this rest is relief from the guilt of sin.  Also, this rest connotes deliverance from the power of sin: bit by bit in this life as we walk with Him, and totally and finally in the life to come.  These are welcome indeed, but they are not all.

To all who come to Jesus, by grace, through faith, He further promises an easy yoke and a light burden.  This easy yoke and light burden consists of two things.  First, it consists of righteous living, in obedience to the Lord’s commands as declared in Scripture.  Second, it consists of righteous serving—consistent with one’s gifting, and calling, and so forth.  These things seems heavy while yet on the outside of His saving love, looking in—but, after a time of walking with the Lord, we note that His yoke and burden are much easier and lighter than what we carried before we met Him.  

Moreover, the one coming to Jesus by faith enters into relationship with Him.  In this relationship, we learn of Him.  We learn Who Jesus is.  In part, He is gentle—neither mild, nor harsh—as He declares Himself to be in our text.  He is also lowly in heart.  He is not arrogant, and He puts on no airs.  Not only do we learn of Jesus, but we also learn from Him.  We do this cognitively, as the Holy Spirit illumines Scripture and quickens it to our souls.  We also learn of Jesus experientially, as we walk with Him over time.  Hence, as we relate to Jesus by faith, our souls rest in Him.

Though the primary thrust of this text is evangelistic, it also applies to the Christian’s ongoing walk with Jesus as well.  Jesus addresses the Christian who is service-sick, the service-sore, the service-burdened—especially when overextended or when apparently fruitless or under-fruitful.  He invites such to come to Him for repair.  To all who come, He promises His rest.  That rest may take the form of appropriate cessation or diminution of labor for a season—a labor beset with difficulty, a labor which tires, and a labor which can cause the laborer to lose heart (read become discouraged).  It also may take the form of renewal from on high—a renewal supernatural in depth and breadth, but conveyed ordinary via the means of grace appointed in Scripture (Bible intake, prayer, worship attendances, and sacraments, et al.).  These are great ministries from the Lord to a weary, discouraged Christian soul, but there is yet more.

To all who come, Jesus further promises an easy yoke and a light burden.  This involves both living right, according to the Scriptures, and serving right—either in the same service, or different service (different work, different setting, different people to serve, etc.) as God decrees.  Furthermore, this serving right will be consistent with how God made us and intended us to serve Him.  We further continue to enjoy Christ’s promise of relationship with Him.  We do this, by faith, through Scripture, prayer, worship attendance, and the like—but these means, too often, we neglect—especially when weary and discouraged or becoming thus quickly.  Recall that service to the neglect of Him Whom we live to serve was Martha’s mistake when Jesus came to visit (Luke 10:38-42).  All of these ministries that Jesus promises will rest our souls.

Discouragement, on the heels of weariness, is real.  It is no figment of the imagination—as any who has endured it can testify.  Discouragement is possible for any Christian.  None of us is wholly free of the possibility of discouragement in this life.  Discouragement, above these, is a favored weapon of the evil one—with this weapon in hand, he seeks to work us woe.  The antidote for this toxin is simple: Come, or continue to come, to Jesus.  Come to Him for rest.  Come to Him for renewal—a renewal that consists of deep relationship with Him and for well-fitted service in His Name.