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Intro: Does the word "weary" ever describe your life? Do you ever feel like you have reached the end of your rope and there simply isn't enough rope left with which to tie a knot? These are the kinds of people Jesus is addressing in these verses.

This chapter deals with the doubts of John the Baptist, v. 1-6; the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, v. 7-19; and the wickedness of the cities where Jesus had been preaching, v. 20-24. He has been surrounded by those who are wearied either with their vain efforts at religion, or their equally vain struggles against sin. These are people who need to know that there is a haven of rest. A place to which they can run where they can rest from the labors of the soul.

My duty this evening is to tell you that there is still a haven of rest for the people of God and that Jesus is His Name. In these three little verses, there is a wealth of heavenly manna. If you are one of those who is "weary and heavy laden" allow me to give you some hope this evening from the blessed Word of God. Allow me to point you to the Haven of Rest. There are 2 primary areas where the people of God can find rest.


A. We See The Call - In this verse we can see that there is an invitation for men to come to Jesus. In Him alone can one find salvation for the soul. There is no other place to find true saving grace than in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 4:12; John 14:6.

(Ill. Men seek to find their salvation in religion, in works, in goodness and in self-righteousness, but every effort of man that rejects faith in Jesus Christ alone for some other method is doomed to absolute failure - Eph. 2:8-9.)

B. We See The Candidates - Notice that the call of the Lord is extended to a particular group. This group is every inclusive rather than exclusive. The group that Jesus is calling unto Himself is "all". That is anyone, anywhere who hears the invitation from the Son of God can come and can find salvation, Rev. 22:17.

(Ill. Thank God He said all! If there had been any conditions placed on it whatsoever, it would probably have excluded you and me!)

Notice also that He called out to those who labored and were heavy laden. The word "labor" refers to those who are absolutely worn out from effort, while the word "heavy laden" calls to mind those who have been pressed down by a great weight. The reference here is to those who are struggling with sin and to those who are laboring under the bondage of religion and vain attempts at self-righteousness.

(Ill. Notice how Jesus Christ described their condition - Matt. 23:4)

In other words, He is calling out to all those who are trying to good their way to God! Jesus knows, just as the sinner himself will find out one day, that every effort to save oneself is a foolish waste of time. The only way it will ever be accomplished in any life is through the pure grace of God, Titus 3:5.

(Ill. What encourages me about this verse is the fact that it is all-encompassing! It opens the door of salvation wide enough to allow whosoever will to pass through and that includes you and me! Sadly, though, many are still struggling to do it for themselves. They need to be reminded that their efforts will fail. Only faith in Jesus can and will save the human soul.)

C. We See The Covenant - Jesus promised all those who came to Him that He would give them "rest". This word speaks of "quietness, calmness and refreshment." He promises to allow them to rest from their labors and their attempts at self-righteousness. He promises to save them fully and freely by grace alone without any works whatsoever.

(Ill. What a blessing this thought is! When we grasp this truth, we come to understand that when we come to Jesus for salvation we truly are given rest! A rest which manifests itself in several unique and special areas.

1. We are given peace with God - Rom. 5:1

2. We are given rest from our attempts to please God - Eph. 1:6

3. We are given a calmness concerning our salvation - Rom. 8:16

4. We are given a quietness about our future - John 6:37; John 10:28

5. We are given refreshment for our journey - Isa. 40:31)

(Ill. These are glorious promises that we have been given by the Savior! Thank God, there is a Rest for the Soul. Now, allow me to share with you that there is also a Rest for the Sojourner. We have talked about the Rest of Salvation, right now let's consider the Rest of Satisfaction.)

I. There Is The Rest Of Salvation


A. Satisfaction Is Found In Service - Jesus moves immediately from the picture of rest in verse 28, to the idea of work in verse 29, He does so by referring to the "yoke". The yoke was a wooden instrument that was used to connect the ox to the burned which the ox was expected to pull. Apparently, Jesus has the idea that His followers are expected to serve Him in some fashion. Sadly, this is a foreign concept to many believers, but in truth, no believer will ever be fully satisfied until he or she finds themself engaged in the Lord's work. To do anything less is to deny our destiny as Christians. You see, we are not saved by works, but work is surely expected from us after we are saved, *** Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14; 3:8; James 2:18***. To do anything less denies our spiritual destiny and dishonors our Lord.

(Ill. This is one reason preachers remind folks about faithfulness and duty. There is far more to being a Christian that just making a profession of faith. There will be many who have made "professions of faith" but who will still die and go to Hell. You see, genuine salvation always manifests itself in obedience, faithful and works. Read James 2:18 once again!)

(Therefore, when a believer yields his/her life to the Lord in service, they will find that they will become truly satisfied in their hearts and souls. Jesus does make a difference and that difference should always be lived out!)

B. Satisfaction Is Found In Surrender - Ill. Take note of the commands given by Jesus in these verses: Come, Take, Learn. All of these words are verbs. They are words which anticipate some action on the part of the hearers. There words were given by the Lord Jesus to elicit a response from every person who heard these words. (By the way, we cannot relegate these verses to the Jews and say they have no importance to us tonight. These verses are just as inspired and just as binding as they were when they were spoken 2,000 years ago.

(Ill. We talk about surrender, but what do we mean? Surrender is defined as,1. a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered b : to give up completely or agree to forgo esp. in favor of another 2. a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another esp. as a prisoner b : to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence. That is what surrender means, but what are we to surrender to?)

1. To A Person - (Note the personal pronouns used here, my, me, I, obviously, Jesus is referring to Himself as the One to Whom we should surrender. He is the Person under Whose absolute control we are to place ourselves. Why should we do this? Because He tells us that He is "meek and lowly of heart." This sets Jesus apart from all other masters. Many, like Pharaoh, could be classified as cruel and mean, Exodus 5. The devil is that kind of a task master. He cares nothing for his servants, but wishes to see them serve him and then he will delight in their deaths and in their doom in Hell fire. Jesus, however, is different by far! He is never cruel, mean spirited, or harsh. Rather, he genuinely cares for His own. Therefore, you and I can surrender to Him with absolute confidence that He will place us first in His considerations.

(Ill. Notice the word "learn". This is the same work from which we get the word Disciple. What Jesus is asking you and me to do is to surrender to Him and become His Disciple. How is that accomplished? Matt. 16:24; Luke 14:26 - The price is high, but the dividends are out of this world!)

(Simply stated, we are to surrender everything we are, have and ever hope to be to the will of the Lord. We are to place ourselves at His disposal and allow Him to be the absolute Lord and ruler of our lives. When we do, we will find genuine satisfaction for our souls.)

2. To A Plan - It is apparent that Jesus expects us to get into the "yoke". As I stated earlier, the yoke was wooden instrument that placed around the neck of the ox and was then attached to the plow, the wagon, or whatever burden needed to be moved. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me! Yet, Jesus says that His yoke is easy. What does He mean? Is He saying that life lived under His will is a life of ease and perfection? No! You see, each yoke was carved in such a way that it perfectly fit the shoulders of the ox for which it was designed. Each yoke was as different from every other yoke as were the oxen who wore them. What Jesus is saying is that "His yoke fits." When we surrender to the Lord and to His will for our lives, we can be confident that He has perfectly and individually designed your yoke just for you. He has made your life to be a perfect fit. That is why He can also say that His burden is light! When we are surrendered to the Lord's yoke and are pulling the burden He has designed for us, there will be satisfaction, even in the midst of trials and afflictions.

(Ill. Notice this principle at work - 1 Cor. 12:7-11.)

(Ill .When a yoke is first placed on the shoulders of the ox, the ox will rebel against the yoke. It doesn't quiet feel right. However, when he surrenders to the yoke and puts his shoulders to the task of pulling his burden, he finds that the yoke make the job of pulling the burden much easier than it would have been otherwise. There is a lesson here for you and me! We should all strive to yield to the yoke Jesus has designed for us to wear. It may not feel right when we are first exposed to it and we may want to buck and kick against it, but if we will surrender to it, we will find that it may actually make our lives easier than they would have been otherwise.)

(Ill. There are a bunch of the Lord's oxen who try their best to wear another's yoke. Some people who are saved try to wear the yoke of worldliness, but they will find that it doesn't fit. Some try to wear the yoke that has been designed for someone else by trying to do things that Lord hasn't called or gifted them to do, they, too, will find that the yoke doesn't fit. When we wear the wrong yoke, we will find ourselves exposed to unnecessary pain and bruising that could have been avoided by merely surrendering to our own individual yoke of service.)

(Ill. We need to remember at this point that Jesus was trained as a carpenter. In those days, carpenters didn't build houses and bookshelves. Carpenters usually spent their time building farm implements. In other words, Jesus must have carved out a lot of ox yoke as He was growing up there in Nazareth. Now, as our Savior, He is still carving out individualized, perfectly fitting yoke for each of His children. It would do us good to learn to surrender to the yoke, because nothing fits our lives so well as the plan which Jesus has designed for it. When we are surrendered to His will, we can be absolutely sure that He will allow nothing to harm us, but that every burden we are called upon to pull has been placed there for our good, Rom. 8:28. We can also know that when we get back to the barn, we will see that all of our labor has not been in vain, 2 Cor. 4:17; Rom. 8:18.

Conc: As we draw things together here at the end of this message, allow me to ask you this question: Does the Lord's yoke seem easy and His burden light in your life? If the answer is yes, then I would venture to say that you are a satisfied person. If the answer is no, then I would recommend a time in this altar for you to just come before the Lord and for you to stop your kicking and your fighting. You may just need to surrender to your yoke and let the Lord have His way in your life.

There may be some who have never even entered the rest of salvation. You have been running yourself weary trying to cross every "t" and dot every "I" in an effort to please God and guarantee yourself a home in Heaven when you die. May I suggest that you just come to the Lord tonight and that you stop struggling and that you just surrender to the Lord Jesus and that you receive Him by faith tonight?

I am thankful that there is still a Haven of Rest for the Soul and for the Sojourner this evening. Do you need to anchor yourself in that haven tonight and find genuine rest for the soul and the spirit? If so, if there is a need, then you come and let Jesus speak peace to your soul tonight. He cares, allow Him to show you how much!


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