"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"
The Savior’s Tender Invitation (Mt 11:28-30)
1. In the text for our study today, we find a wonderful invitation
extended by Jesus…
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle
and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My
yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
2. From heaven Jesus still offers this tender invitation; but do we
really understand and appreciate…
a. To whom Jesus extends this invitation?
b. What He offers to those who will accept it?
c. What He expects from those who desire to respond?
d. The true ease of accepting this invitation?
[These are some of the questions we shall consider as we examine what
has been called "The Savior’s Tender Invitation"…]
I. TO WHOM DOES JESUS EXTEND THIS INVITATION?
A. "ALL YOU WHO LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN…"
1. To those who are burdened by sin
a. A burden which separates one from God – cf. Isa 59:1-2
b. A burden with terrible side effects
1) A lack of inner peace – Isa 48:22
2) Instead, one is burdened with anxiety, depression, fear
3) And rightly so, in view of the ultimate consequence of
sin (spiritual death) – Ro 6:23a
2. This invitation, then, is really for everyone!
a. For all are sinners! – Rom 3:23; Rom 3:10
b. And as such are in bondage to sin and its heavy burden
– Jn 8:34
B. SADLY, MANY ARE TOO PROUD TO ADMIT THEIR BURDEN…
1. That they are sinners
2. That they are enslaved by sin and its burden
3. That they need Divine help to freed from the burden of sin
[If you are not too proud to face the fact that you are a sinner and
need Divine help, then "The Savior’s Tender Invitation" is especially
designed for you! But perhaps you wonder…]
II. WHAT IS JESUS OFFERING?
A. "I WILL GIVE YOU REST…YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS"
1. Jesus is offering rest for our souls!
2. Souls which have been burdened by:
a. The guilt of sin, which separates from God (i.e., legal
b. The side effects of sin, such as anxiety, depression, fear
and doubt (i.e., emotional guilt)
B. JESUS OFFERS REST…
1. Which includes a removal of the guilt of sin!
a. For by God’s own love and grace, forgiveness of sin is now
possible through Jesus – cf. Ro 5:8-9; 1 Jn 4:10; Ep 1:7
b. Through His own blood, Jesus frees us from the condemnation
of sin – Ro 8:1
2. Which includes a removal of the side effects of sin!
a. To have true rest for our souls, we need more than just
1) For even those forgiven may be plagued by the side
effects of sin
2) Having lived so long under the burden of sin, it may not
be easy to lay aside those feelings which often
accompany sin (e.g., anxiety, fear, doubt)
b. Jesus certainly provides what our souls need…
1) To remove anxiety, Jesus offers peace to calm the
a) A peace unlike any that the world might give – Jn 14:27
b) A peace stronger than any tribulation the world might
bring – Jn 16:33
c) A peace which guards our hearts and minds, and
"surpasses all understanding" – Ph 4:7
2) To remove depression, Jesus offers joy to lift our
a) The same joy Jesus Himself had – Jn 15:11
b) A joy later described as "inexpressible" – 1 Pe 1:8
3) To remove fear, Jesus offers love which casts out fear
– 1 Jn 4:18
a) The same love which exists between the Father and the
Son – Jn 15:9
b) A love which "passes knowledge" – Ep 3:19
4) To remove doubt, Jesus offers hope for facing the future
a) By assuring us of eternal life – Jn 11:25
b) By promising eternal rest to those who die in the
Lord – Re 14:13
[I have not exhausted all that pertains to the wonderful rest Jesus
offers, but it is…
* A rest from the burden of sin’s guilt, and a rest from the burden
of sin’s side effects!
* A rest for our burdened souls now, and eternal rest for our souls
when we die!
Incidentally, even physical burdens are made lighter by coming to
Jesus, because the soul is made stronger to bear them! This sounds
III. WHAT DOES JESUS EXPECT OF THOSE WHO WISH TO RESPOND?
A. "COME TO ME…"
1. This is easy, even though Jesus is "King of kings and Lord of
2. For as He says, "I am gentle and lowly in heart"
a. He is so gentle, children felt comfortable in His presence
(cf. Mt 18:2 )
b. He is so lowly in heart, the common people heard Him gladly
(cf. Mk 12:37 )
— As prophesied, Jesus would be tender and sensitive to our
needs ("A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He
will not quench" – Isa 42:3; Mt 12:20)
B. "TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU…"
1. "In Jewish literature a ‘yoke’ represents the sum-total of
obligations which, according to the teaching of the rabbis,
a person must take upon himself." – William Hendriksen
(Matthew, New Testament Commentary)
2. Jesus is therefore expecting those who desire the rest He
a. Accept His teachings
b. Accept whatever obligations He would lay upon you
C. "…AND LEARN FROM ME"
1. This is how we learn what obligations He would place upon us
2. We must be willing to listen to Him, and do whatever He says
– cf. Lk 6:46-49
[In essence, "The Savior’s Tender Invitation" is a call to
discipleship: to commit your life as a disciple of Jesus, committed to
learning from Him and accepting the obligations He places upon you
(i.e., "His yoke"). This might prompt one to ask…]
IV. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO ACCEPT THIS INVITATION?
B. BUT AS STATED HERE, "MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT"
1. John, who was a disciple for over fifty years, said: "His
commandments are not grievous" – 1 Jn 5:3
2. What helps lighten our burden is the strength Jesus Himself
gives – Philippians 2:12-13; Philippians 4:13
— Certainly the burden Jesus places upon us is lighter than the
burden sin lays upon us!
1. Do you desire the rest for your soul that is offered by "The
Savior’s Tender Invitation"?
a. Then come to Jesus in full obedience to His gospel
b. Commit to becoming His disciple, learning from Him all that He
As one rises from the watery grave of baptism, they are freed from the
burden of sin through the precious blood of Christ. As they continue
to observe all that He commanded, their burden becomes even lighter as
they apply to their lives the wisdom Jesus taught.
Have you accepted the yoke of Jesus? Are you living under that yoke?