- Sermon Notes
Lay It All Down
Illus. Grace (Video)
Read: Matthew 11:28-30
We pick up in Matthew 11:28-30 this morning and hear the words of Jesus to those in His day who were being given burdens and weights that went beyond mere physical weight. The weights being placed on those who sought to be right with the Lord were spiritual weights, the heavy burdens of self-righteousness and legalistic law keeping, bringing unrest to their very souls.
It has been said the Pharisees had imposed over 600 rules and regulations associate with the weekly “day of rest.” Even on the day of week where people were supposed to find rest from work and be blessed in remembering the Lord, they weren’t finding rest; they were stressed, unable to keep up with what they were being told was necessary in order to be right with God.
Jesus said to those in that day and for us today, “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Though we understand physical fatigue, Jesus goes even deeper, pointing us to the rest for our souls that this world could never provide, yet He provides to all who come.
I.Come as You Are
Matthew 11:28, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
- The inclusion of “all who are,” highlights a condition that already exists.
- Jesus is calling out to those who are already weary, and heavy-laden.
- The term weary refers to the internal exhaustion caused by trying to find rest for one’s soul through works, or human wisdom.
- Heavy-laden indicates that at some point a great load was dumped on that weary person.
- It illustrates the person who was already weary, and then an unbearable load was dumped on top of them.
- In Jesus’s daythe rabbinical teachings had become so demanding that there were standards and formulas for essentially every human activity. It was all but impossible to keep them all.
- Traditional Jews considered the rabbinic instructions to be the proper interpretations of the Scriptures.
- The Scribes worked our rules and regulations and the Pharisees separated themselves from all ordinary activities in life to keep these rules outwardly, but as Jesus pointed out, not inwardly.
Matthew 23:4, They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.
- There were commands in Scripture and then supplementary rules and restrictions on top of those commands.
- As mentioned, there were over 600 rules and regulations added to the command to not work on the Sabbath day.
- The command was not to work, what was added to that was any burden a person would bear on that day could be a form of work.
- Then comes the question, what is a burden?
Illus. The weight of a burden.
- Since it was not possible to cover everything, much time was spent debating whether a person could move their lamp to the other side of the room.
- This had become the essence of religion for the Scribes and Pharisees.
- It is in Jesus that all would find true rest and holiness (Heb. 4:1-11), they would not find rest in the heavy and overwhelming burdens being placed on them.
- Jesus says come, all who are weary and it shows His heart toward all who are weary, troubled, overwhelmed, and bogged down.
- He sees our condition and He Himself is the One willing to do something about it. This is in contrast to Scribes and Pharisees, who placed heavy burdens on people but were unwilling to lift a finger themselves.
- They were telling everyone what they weren’t and what they needed to be in order to worship, approach, or be right with God.
- Jesus says come…All who are weary, depressed, despairing, discouraged, unable, incapable, weighted down.
Illus. All who are what?
- He will give you rest…
- Rest – To cease action, motion, labor, or exertion.
- To enter God’s rest is to cease from trying to make a way for yourself, or trying to earn salvation and know that He is only way…Resting in Him.
Psalm 46:10, Cease striving and know that I am God.
- Let Jesus lighten your load
Matthew 11:29-30, 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.
- A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox, or oxen. The yoke is then attached to a piece of equipment that the oxen are to pull.
- The picture is of a yoke that is so heavy, and a burden that is so great, it is unbearable. The person under the yoke of anything but the yoke He gives, will be heavy and unbearable.
- For many is a yoke of this world around their neck. Leaving them burdened, overwhelmed, and depressed, and afraid of their next mistake. It doesn’t fit and the continual weight being added renders them immobile.
Acts 15:10, Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus.
- We also make many troubles and burdens for ourselves by how we live out our lives. But the greatest burden of all is the burden of our sin and it is a burden we simply cannot carry.
- Jesus offers to give us rest for our souls when he offers his yoke in exchange for ours.
2 Corinthians 5:21, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Ephesians 2:4-5, But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
- This is very difficult for many people to accept because man is not the hero of the story; God is.
- Jesus’s yoke is easy and his burden is light. Jesus came because we couldn’t carry our own burden.
Matthew 11:29…Learn from me.
- What do we learn from Him?
- That He is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6), That salvation is found in no one else (Acts 4:12).
- What He gives, the way He made, is by grace. There is nothing I could have done to earn it, and there is nothing I can do today, yesterday, or any day to earn it…It is a gift.
Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 11:6, But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
- Grace = God’s unmerited favor.
Titus 3:5, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…
- That we are saved by grace alone, is an incredible gift.
- Jesus paid the way, salvation is His gift alone, it’s not a result of works, we don’t get to boast in this…it’s His blessing.
Illus. Head on in.
- Would you allow Jesus to be the hero of your story? There is an inheritance waiting according to the riches of His mercy.
Would you consider the invitation to…
- Find rest in Him alone
Matthew 11:29-30, 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.
- What are you up against? Are you worn down? Weary? Waiting for the next ball to drop? Or worried about tomorrow?
- Jesus says come, know who I am, lay it all down, trade it all in, you will find rest.
- If you are carrying a difficult yoke, or a heavy burden, it’s not what Jesus has put on you. His burden is light.
Illus. What are you up against?
Psalm 62:5-8, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
- In John 10:10, Jesus says that He came that we may have life and have it abundantly.
Would you consider Jesus invitation to lay it all down and find rest in Him alone?