1. In today's lesson we are studying "The Great Invitation" that Jesus offers. 2. Before we do so, let us consider several points made earlier in this chapter. a. (vs.1) After Jesus gave His apostles the limited commission, He continued teaching and preaching, trying to reach as many people as possible. b. (vs.20-24) Jesus pronounced woe upon those who did not respond properly to Him. c. (vs.25-27) Jesus thanked the Father for those who did respond properly to Him. 3. Following this brief prayer, Jesus gave His "Great Invitation."
I.THE LORD'S INVITATION IS FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO HIM
A. At that time, the scribes and the Pharisees were influencing the Jewish people through their teaching. B. In Matthew 23, Jesus pointed out some of the problems with their teaching. 1. (vs.4) They placed tremendous burdens on people. 2. (vs.13) They kept people out of the kingdom. 3. (vs.15) Their converts were actually made worse. C. Jesus invites people to come to Him rather than to teachers like these. D. Christ has something to offer that no one else can.
II. THE LORD'S INVITATION IS FOR ALL PEOPLE
A. Jesus invites "all" who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him. 1. Those who labor are weary or exhausted from burdens or grief. 2. Those who are heavy laden are burdened down from the weight of sin. 3. Jesus has compassion on people with these needs (Matthew 9:36). B. Regardless of who or what we are, if we will come to Christ, He will give us "rest" [tranquility of the soul].
III. THE LORD'S INVITATION CONTAINS CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THIS REST
A. We must take the Lord's yoke upon us. 1. Yoke: a symbol of submission to someone else 2. Taking the Lord's yoke upon us means that we are to be in complete subjection to His will. 3. Contrary to what some people believe, Christ has a yoke for us to wear, and He has a burden for us to carry (Matthew 16:24-25). 4. However, when we compare His requirements to the penalty of sin, we see that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. B. We must learn of Jesus. 1. This actually means that we must "learn from Jesus." 2. We are to follow His instruction, and we are to follow His example (Philippians 2:5-8). C. These are requirements that we must fulfill. 1. Jesus is "meek and lowly in heart" -- He will not force us do His will. 2. Our love for Him should lead us to meet His conditions (John 14:15). 3. Those who meet these conditions will find "rest unto their souls."
IV. MATTHEW TELLS ABOUT MANY PEOPLE WHO CAME TO JESUS
A. Some, like the rich young ruler (19:16-22), came to Jesus and received no rest. B. Others, like the Canaanite woman (15:21-28), came to Jesus and received rest. C. What was the difference between these 2 people? 1. The rich young ruler did not submit to the Lord's conditions for receiving rest. 2. The Canaanite woman was mindful of her condition, she knew that Jesus could help her, and she came to the Lord in faith.
1. Are you in need of the rest that Jesus provides? 2. If so, comply with His conditions today. 3. He will bless you with peace that you can receive from no other source. 4. By all means, do not reject Him or His offer (John 12:48)