Matthew 11:25-30 (NLT)
Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! 27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Those who consider themselves too wise and understanding to need Christ become afflicted with judicial blindness. But those who admit that without Him, they lack true wisdom, end up receiving a revelation of Him that is beautiful beyond description…for as Col 2:3 says, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.
V27, “My Father has entrusted everything to me.” This would be a presumptuous claim from anyone else, but from the Lord Jesus it is a simple statement of truth.
V27, “No one truly knows the Son except the Father.” There is incomprehensible mystery about the Person of Christ. The union of deity and humanity in one Person raises problems that boggle the human mind. For instance, there is the problem of death. God cannot die. Yet Jesus is God and Jesus died. And yet His divine and human natures are inseparable. So although we can know Him and love Him and trust Him, there is a sense in which only the Father can truly understand Him.
V27, “No one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” The Father, too, is inscrutable. Ultimately, only God is great enough to understand God. Man cannot know Him by his own strength or intellect. But the Lord Jesus can and does reveal the Father to those whom He chooses. Whoever comes to know the Son comes to know the Father also (John 14:7).
Yet, after saying all this, we must confess that in seeking to explain verse 27, we are dealing with truths too high for us. We see in a mirror dimly. Not even in eternity will our finite minds be able to fully appreciate the greatness of God or understand the mystery of the Incarnation. When we read that the Father is revealed only to those whom the Son chooses, we might be tempted to think of an arbitrary selection of a favored few, but v28 guards against such an interpretation. The Lord Jesus issues a universal invitation to all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him for rest – who trust Him as Lord and Savior. As we examine this invitation of infinite tenderness, let us remember that it was issued after the blatant rejection of Jesus by the favored cities of Galilee. Man’s hate and obstinacy could not extinguish His love and grace.
“Come to Me” v28, means to believe and to receive and to accept the gift of eternal life through Christ our Lord. The object of faith is not a church, a creed, or a clergyman, but the living Christ. Salvation is in a Person. Those who have Jesus, are as saved as God can make them.
In order to truly come to Jesus, a person must admit that he is burdened with the weight of sin. Only those who acknowledge they are lost can be saved. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is preceded by repentance toward God.
“I will give you rest.” V28. Notice that rest here is a gift; it is unearned and unmerited. This is the rest of salvation that comes from realizing that Christ finished the work of redemption on Calvary’s cross. It is the rest of conscience that follows the realization that the penalty of one’s sins has been paid once for all and that God will not demand payment twice.
In verses 29 and 30, the invitation changes from salvation to service. “Take My yoke upon you.” This means to enter into submission to His will, to turn over control of one’s life to Him and learn from Me. As we acknowledge His lordship in every area of our lives, He trains us in His ways.
“For I am humble and gentle in heart.” In contrast to the Pharisees who were harsh and proud, the true Teacher is meek and tender. Those who take His yoke learn position in life is not as important as having a humble and tender heart, not only toward God, but before others.
“You will find rest for your souls.” V29. Here it is not the rest of conscience but the rest of heart that is found by being willing to humble ourselves before God and man. It is also the rest that one experiences in the service of Christ when he stops trying to be great.
” My yoke is easy to bear” v30. There is a striking contrast with the Pharisees. Jesus said of them, “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matt. 23:4). Jesus’ yoke is easy; it does not chafe.
“His burden is light” v30. This does not mean that there are no problems, trials, labor, or heartaches in the Christian life. But it does mean that we do not have to bear them alone. We are yoked with One who gives sufficient grace, strength and victory, for every time of need. To serve Him is not bondage but perfect freedom.