Presentation on theme: "In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for."— Presentation transcript:
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, 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 shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” To begin with, let’s ask one simple question: Do You Believe Him?
Do You really believe Christianity is: Restful? Easy? Light? There’s getting up early on Sunday morning instead of sleeping in; going back on Sunday and Wednesday evenings instead of relaxing with the family and TV; constantly checking on the sick; attending Gospel Meetings here and at other congregations; the constant struggle of having to do the “right” and/or “Christian” thing; listening to all those sermons & lessons; constantly reading and studying the Bible; teaching Bible Classes; and all that other stuff! Restful? Easy? Light? Most would say not so! But Jesus said so.
By contrast, consider: Proverbs 13:15, “Good understanding produces favor, but the way of the treacherous (or unfaithful, NKJV) is hard.” How is that Jesus said Christianity was “easy,” and Proverbs said wickedness was “hard,” when it seems it should be exactly the other way around? It seems that it is really “hard” to be Christian, and the wicked have it “easy” because all they ever have to do is please themselves! Maybe Jesus meant Christianity was easier “in the long run” because you avoid hell at judgment? So it’s hard now, but easy later. But that’s not what He said. He said “My yoke” and “My load”- those are terms implying work, and heaven is a place of rest, Heb.4:1-11. So, He can’t just be talking about heaven then; the “easy” and “light” must include life now somehow…
So: How does Jesus say following Him is “easy” and “light” when it seems so hard and heavy??? I’ve often said of being a good husband/wife or father/mother that if it is “the hardest thing” you’ve ever done, either: 1)You’ve lived a very sheltered life; or, 2)It’s pretty certain that you’re doing it wrong. So it is with Christianity- if it is “the hardest thing” you’ve ever done, you’re probably doing it wrong. Not because I said so, but because Jesus said so! “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
Why, then, is Christianity hard and heavy when it’s supposed to be easy and light? 1.The invitation is to the “weary and heavy laden,” (v.28), not those happy to “eat, drink, and be merry,” (cp. Luke 12:19). Weary and heavy laden refers to being burdened with the spiritual guilt of sin, not being tired from physical labor and/or hardship. The purpose of revelation is eternal spiritual redemption, see vv.25-27, not the easing of physical burdens of life. Jesus did not come to make life “heaven on earth” for His followers, He came to relieve their burden and guilt of sin. If we’re looking for solutions to our physical problems rather than our spiritual needs, Christianity will always be hard and heavy to us, 6:11-15; 10:34-39; 2Cor.4:16-17.
Why, then, is Christianity hard and heavy when it’s supposed to be easy and light? 2.The yoke and learning of Christ is hard unless our hearts/minds are right, v.29 (see also Prov.14:6b). The difficulty of Christianity is often caused by the baptism of the body without the complete conversion of the heart/mind, cf. Acts 8: “Learning from Me” is retraining the mind. If our “baptism” was only to avoid hell after death rather than to live for Christ in life, then our heart/mind really wasn’t “converted,” Rom.12:2-3. Without that change of heart/mind, which is a necessary part of true repentance, 2Cor.7:9-10, changing our lives is truly “hard,” cf. Jas.1:2-8 > 4:1-6. But if/when the heart/mind is truly converted, cf. Eph.5:10, then living the Christian life becomes much easier, 1John 5:3.
Why, then, is Christianity hard and heavy when it’s supposed to be easy and light? 3.Christianity is “hard” unless we really want to be like Jesus, v.29- “gentle and humble in heart”. As long we remain prideful, arrogant, and stubborn we will never learn the easy and light way of Christianity, Acts 26:14 > 2Kings 5:1-14. But if/when we take on the gentle and humble heart of Jesus, then we understand that we will never perfectly keep that list of don’ts, can’ts, and shouldn’ts we formerly imagined Christianity to be, and will gently do our best, humbly admit our failures, and lovingly trust the perfecting power Jesus for the rest, 1Thess.5:23; Phil.3:21. Christianity is hard, if you try to accomplish it all on your own- but remember your Yoke-Fellow is Jesus Christ!
Christianity is hard and heavy when we make it so by: 1.Expecting it to be about our physical ease and comfort rather than spiritual freedom. 2.Trying conform our lives without first converting our minds. 3.Failing to learn from the gentle and humble heart of Jesus.