Come Unto Me

Come Unto Me

The Reading Matthew 11:25-30

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:28-30)

Come Unto Me; A Place of Rest.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Life was quite normal growing up in the Netherlands for this little girl. Not yet ten years old, she still enjoyed playing with dolls and playing outside with her friends. She lived a middle-class lifestyle, her father had a small business and they could afford some of the better things in life.

But when she was ten years old something occurred in a foreign land that would eventually change everything she was familiar with. The news that Germany invaded Poland would not have any practical effect on her or her family, at least not yet.

As a twelve-year-old she faced the usual issues growing up that many young girls even today could relate to. The problem of unwanted attention from boys in school, issues relating to friends etc. 

On her thirteenth birthday she was presented with a gift that would have an effect upon the entire world in years to come. 

‘Kitty’, she called her new friend “Kitty”, it would be how Anne Frank referred to the diary she received on her birthday that would eventually be translated into 67 languages around the world.

One day a letter arrived at her home, and for the second time in a decade, the life of the Frank family would be changed forever. Anne and her family would go into hiding from the outside world. 

No noise, no use of the toilet during certain times of the day, no walking on the steps of the annex in which they were hidden. 

And most disturbingly of all, no knowledge whatsoever how long it would be before they would be safe to leave the annex.

There was a bookshelf that hid the secret entry way was only ever opened to receive supplies from the very small group of people who knew they were there. The annex was small and dark. They painted the windows to avoid anyone seeing shadows pass through the curtains or faces in the windows. 

But this was not the first time their lives were so disrupted.

You see Anne and her family were German born Jews. Her father and mother had seen evil on the doorstep, and they left Germany for Holland the moment the Nazi’s gained power. 

Sadly, the evil followed them to Amsterdam.

Anne Frank wrote continually to “dear kitty”, their self-imposed isolation lasted for two long years until it was tragically discovered by the Gestapo (The German Secret Police) in 1944, and their little family was disrupted again, for the last time.

Anne was 15 years old when she and her sister were taken to Auschwitz. 

She died a year later.

I relate that story because we all naturally like things to stay as they are, we don’t like disruptions in our lives. Our desire is for continence of normality through which our plans for tomorrow can go unhindered. 

Our natural tendency toward the positive has us always planning for things to be better than today. Isaiah noted those desires perfectly when he wrote and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” (Isa 56:12)

But it’s when normality and predictability in life is altered, when it is shifted to the unpredictable, that we might find ourselves with anxieties that are sometimes difficult to shake.  Even though we like occasional adventures in life, there is always longing for the constant, for the unchanging, in summary, for A PLACE OF REST we can call HOME.

We long to be happy and to have peace, the feelings of fear and sadness are antithetical to everything we truly desire.

In her diary entry on Tuesday 7th March 1944, Anne Frank, at the tender age of 14 years, wrote;

 “He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!”

It is that Faith that Jesus calls on for people to have in him. HE is the RESTING PLACE, HE is our HIDING PLACE

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Ps 32:7)

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word (Ps 119:114)

The statement he makes in Matthew is not arbitrary, it is not a relative “if it works for you”, one among many options, it is absolute;

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

He made it clear that in him is found THE PLACE OF REST. 

He makes a promise in this declaration that for ALL who Come unto me, and all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Beloved, when you have truly found rest for your soul, when you have, in Christ, discovered the peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7), it is then that you ALSO come to have an infectious joy desired by those around you.

You will please forgive me for using a positive simile in a time of viral contagion, but this is true, I have found it to be true. 

Joy is ‘infectious’, it is sought after, it is desired by those lacking, desired by those who “labour and are heavy laden

Yet these are the very ones Jesus charges to come unto him! If that is you, then turn to Christ who promises to give you rest, believe him. Take the word of those who have found rest in Christ, take the word of those who have found the most secure hiding place of all!

AND those of you who know of that hiding place, live in the joy and peace of it that your joy may be brought to the attention of those around you!

Each day that I do go to purchase an item I find myself talking openly to people suffering in fear of tomorrow and I encourage them to “Look UP”.

There is great sadness in the streets, the transient hope of a more abundant tomorrow is fallen in the streets, BUT WE have a HOPE that can NEVER be displaced, never be taken from us; treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matt 6:20)

Anne Frank and her family were prisoners on their own home in fear of being taken captive by an enemy which threatened the world. And the very words she wrote just before she wrote of “courage and faith” was this;

And whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!”

That, dear Christian, is a picture of what you are to do and how you are to be!

What a shame it must be for a person who has eternal and everlasting hope, to be as miserable as those who have none! What, dear Christian, have you set your eyes on all this time?

On the transient? On the temporal? On all that which will one day pass away? Or has your treasure been in heaven? “For where your treasure is, their will your heart be also (Matt 6:21)

On the 31st of the same month ANNE FRANK wrote simply God has not left me alone and will not leave me alone.”

It is this faith that is infectious, it is this rest that you have dear Christian, that can inspire hope in others. 

In the last two messages you have seen that you have a foundation for hope in your lives.

  • You are uniquely here for such a time as this, and;
  • You know to LOOK UP for the joy that is set before you, 

NOW therefore is the time to encourage others with that same hope, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2).

It is Jesus Christ who promises rest, genuine rest, true rest, indescribable peace even during times of trouble, HE IS OUR HIDING PLACE, he is our ROCK, and his words are our FOUNDATION and SOLID GROUND, immovable and unchangeable.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Come Unto Me; Appointed For The Burdened

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

This “Rest” Jesus speaks of however, is not for those who are at ease in self conceit and filled with a false hope and false comfort. This Rest is appointed ONLY for those that “labor and are heavy laden”.

Turn with me to that passage again as we see it in context;

Matt 11:25

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

There is a limitation respecting the Gospel and the peace that it brings. 

To the wise, to the prudent, to those filled with self-assurance, these things are hid.

To those whosoever labour, those who are heavy laden, to these ONLY the Lord PROMISES rest. Perhaps we think this unfair and discriminatory. Well beloved it is. It may surprise you to know that The Gospel itself is not available to all people, IT IS ONLY for those “whosoever… call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved(Rom 10:13)

WHY is that? 

Because in the world there are ALSO those written of by Job, of whom it is written of;

14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. 15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? (Job 21:14-15)

The Gospel is not for them. Consider again the context of the passage; look up at verse 20 and again see why it is that Jesus limits the availability of the rest he offers;

2Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 

And he says the same of Capernaum who also would not believe telling then “That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” Because the truth of the Gospel is not believed by the self-righteous, by those who think their own goodness will bring them everlasting peace. 

Jesus told us that it was not the man who thought himself righteous, fasting twice a week and giving a tenth of his possessions, that found rest for his soul, it was the publican next to him who smote upon his breast saying 

God be merciful to me a sinner whom Jesus said “14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:13-14)

Paul spoke to many Jews about Christ, and rebuked also many whom he said “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46)

But sadly, even many of Gentiles today likewise judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life”. The Place of Rest in Jesus Christ is ONLY APPOINTED TO THE BURDENED. To those who are seeking REST for their souls and that would come unto Christ for it.

Jesus spoke to the Jews who looked to the scriptures for eternal life, but not LOOK to the very subject of the Scriptures, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF;

Turn to John 5:39-40

Jesus, speaking to the Jews said,

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (Jn 5:39-40)

There are many who will not come unto him, because the comfort and Rest he offers is appointed ONLY to the burdened, Only to those seeking rest for their souls.

Those of you who are hearing this message today, if you have in you fears and burdens, if you labor in anxiety and are heavy with worry and concern, it is a joy that this PROMISE of Christ is specifically and particularly for you.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

If you are still in Johns Gospel account, go forward to chapter 7, John 7:37-38;

37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Jn 7:37-38)

If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

So many have thought this life and this world is well able to quench the thirst they thought they longed for.

Like a mirage in the dessert, they plowed ahead looking to and longing for paradise on earth. They had never noticed the mirage grow fainter and fainter.  Like those during the Gold Rush days in Australia who suffered with what was known as “Gold Fever”, the more they dug the more they were convinced they were soon to strike Gold.

It is not until the mirage is lifted that they begin to feel parched with thirst. 

It is not until they can see the world in complete disarray and confusion, that there is a realization of MISPLACED affection. The world is NOT a FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS.

Finally it is then that a longing to be truly quenched, looks for that which is sure;

 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

In the first century, it was not the Jew that commonly found rest in Christ, it was the Gentiles, you and I. 

Jesus “came unto his own and his own received him not” (John 1:11)

That Rest offered to the Gentiles was written about long ago, turn to Isaiah as I conclude this point;

Isaiah 11:10

1And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious (Isa 11:10)

In Chapter 28 of Isaiah, God had spoken to Israel telling them 

This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. (Isa 28:12)

But will you hear?

Will you throw away the greatest opportunity ever? Will you hear? Will you hear the gospel, the joy and the hope of eternal life?

If you labor and are heavy laden, will you come unto Jesus Christ and rest?

If you thirst, will you come to Christ and drink?

Those of you who are Christs; are you are fountain of living water to those around you, or are you living as those who have no hope?

This is the greatest time you may ever have to do and fulfill that which ONLY you are uniquely purposed to do. 

I pray your hope and joy in Christ will draw many who thirst, many who are laden and heavy burdened, to know how it is you are so filled with rest and peace.

Come Unto Me; An Exchange Of Concern 

2Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It is clear in this passage that there is an exchange of concern. An exchange of burden being offered, Christ taking that which weighs you down and placing it upon himself, and giving to you that which will lift you up.

The Bible speaks plainly of the ultimate burden of life, and it is not fear, it is not anxiety, it is not a worry about the things of tomorrow, it is the Guilt of Sin and the fear of judgment that underpins our lack of tranquility. The Bible speaks of it as a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation” (Heb 10:27)

Paul speaks to the very hardening of the heart saying, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom 2:5)

It is also evidently true because it is the single topic that very few people will speak of.

It is the reason why the madness and impossibility of atheism has become so popular today. 

It is the reason why Evolution is still taught in the school system even though it has NEVER been successfully tested in accord to the scientific method.

Biology is the ONLY field of science that DOES NOT FOLLOW the rules of Physics of things going naturally from ORDER TO DISORDER, for some strange reason, biology alone goes in the OPPOSITE direction, from DISORDER to ORDER. 

Anyone who has a teenager living at home, knows that this is NOT POSSIBLE!

The only reason it is still proposed is because people do NOT want to deal with the matter of sin and judgement.

 George Wald was a Harvard Scientist and Nerobiologist, in his book ‘Frontiers of Modern Biology on Theories of Origin of Life.’  New York Houghton Miffin 1972. p 187.

In speaking of Evolution (IE Macro Evolution) George Wald writes;

“One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are — as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.”

“I do not want to believe in God. Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution”

If you cannot see in this statement, an irrational and illogical and personal bias interfere in the conclusions of a Scientist, I am not sure how else to persuade you.

Sin is the greatest destabiliser in the life of us all, and deep down we are fully aware that God knows of our sinful state and that we cannot hide it.

Turn to Ps 90:7-11

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. (Ps 90:7-11)

We have no comfort because our own sinful state is NOT dealt with.

There is no rest within because we cannot have rest UNTIL this is dealt with.

Let me prove the truth of it for you, turn back to Psalm 38:3-6

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. (Ps 38:3-6)

So many things can be noticed in this passage,

  • One is the lack of rest, the lack of soundness and the burdens that come as a result;
  • The other is the troubling of the mind that causes sorrow in the heart “all the day long”

Note that not everyone FEELS this way, even though EVERYONE sins this way. Recall, the Rest Appointed is only for the burdened, for those who are heavy laden, for those who thirst.  BUT, he who is wiser in his own conceit than seven men who can render a reason (Pr 26:16), are excluded. Jesus said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt 9:13). The verse things Jesus is explaining is in the verse before when he said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt 9:12)

Let me now tell you of the great exchange, the most incredible truth of the Gospel that you might believe; In our passage Jesus desires to comfort you when you come unto him, the manor of comfort that you will receive is by way of exchange. 

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Paul summarizes it perfectly in one verse, turn to 2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We might think it strange, but we have all heard of this. We use words in our day to day language that came from the Bible respecting Jesus Christ. The Scapegoat. That is, a person who has taken responsibility for that which he is the innocent party. 

He experiences the penalty you should have endured, while you receive the benefit he had earned.

The phrase Scapegoat is found in Leviticus 16 and was a foreshadowing of Christ who came to bare the sin of the world. But if you are looking for that which is ancient concerning the great exchange and the clarity in which is was first written of, turn to Isaiah 53.

It is a very difficult passage to not read all the way through, for it goes into a detail concerning Christ that is incredible, particularly as it was written 700 years before Jesus walked the shores of Galilee or climbed the mountains of Judea.

Lets read from verse 1 to 6 and you will see the great exchange promising what Paul wrote of in 2 Corinthians;

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isa 53:1-6)

Beloved we have one qualification for obtaining the righteousness of Christ, and that is that we are unrighteous. 

If that is you, then you are fit for the exchange! It is all that qualifies you, your unrighteousness for his righteousness.

Come Unto Me…And Ye Shall Find Rest Unto Your Souls

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:28-30)

No more fear, nor fear of life, no fear in death, rest, perfect rest, joy and peace. 

The greatest wonder of all, no matter what it is that we endure, and we will yet endure, is that there is comfort and peace to help in times of need.

The greatest joy in my life that endures and will endure all that is before me, is the wonder and the hope I have in Christ. 

He has taken that which I had, and place it upon himself, and given to me his perfect rest.

“41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. (Luke 7:41)

And when they had NOTING TO PAY, he frankly forgave them.

The prerequisite to forgiveness of these debtors, was having nothing to pay.

I came before Christ with nothing to offer him,

I came to the Lord empty and yet laden with sin, and he gave me rest. 

More, so much more than that, he gave me life!

I was dead in trespass and sins, and he gave me life.

A beautiful passage found in Revelation 22, the final chapter of the Bible.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev 22:17)

This is the promise being given us, this is the promise being given YOU to enter into his rest.  Will you believe it?

If you believe it, then come unto Christ without any delay. 

It is faith in what he has DONE that brings rest.

There is no other promise, there is no other way, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

Turn lastly to Hebrews 4:1-2 

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Heb 4:1-2)

There is a rest appointed to the people of God, it is for those who are weary, those laden and heavy. 

Horatius Bonar was. a great preacher of another century, who said this respecting the offering of Christ to all who come unto him.

“Christ invites the weary! It is this weariness that fits you for Him, and Him for you. Here is the weariness, there is the resting-place! They are side by side.”

“Let us listen then to the gracious words of the Lord: “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.”* Thou wouldest have asked, and He would have given! 

That is all. How real, how true, how free; yet how simple!” HB

The Gospel is the most simple and most blessed joy of all. 

Come Unto Me is all he says, he will do the rest, all you need do is come.

Are you willing to come and cast your care upon him?

Will you take part in the great exchange, your burden, for his peace and rest? 

Jesus expressed his love for you in being the scapegoat for you, he already died for you. 

Is was the ONLY way to reconcile you to God, it IS the only way to have rest, to have hope, to have peace and comfort now, in this time.

His death brings you life, it is the UNLTIMATE EXCHANGE. Will you believe it?

For those of you who are Christs, remember your rest!


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