Matthew 11:28-30 A Great Invitation


The date was August 15, 1930. On that day, a 45-year-old New York State Supreme Court Justice named Joseph Crater, after spending an evening eating out with friends, hailed a taxi and was never seen or heard from again.


It remains one of the most mystifying Missing Person cases in FBI files.

The FBI immediately suspected a kidnapping by someone who held a judicial grudge against Justice Crater.


But that didn’t seem to pan out. They then suspected Mafia activity because Justice Crater was an enemy of the Mafia. But, again, that led nowhere.


There is only one clue which remains to this day.

When Mrs. Crater returned to their apartment the evening her husband disappeared, there on the table was a large check made out to her and a note attached to the check in her husband’s handwriting which simply said,


I am very, very tired. Love, Joe


Maybe you can relate to Joe Carter– tired and stressed out in life thoughts of Checking out!

A)62% of Americans are regularly dealing with stress –


Those most likely to deal w/ stress are those in their 40’s    

C)One San Diegan is trying to help the Cause – just recently opened -  Sarah's Smash Shack

1)$20.00 – for a ½ hr – Unload some stress 


There are many factors in life that can drive us to exhaustion and weariness

A)Young parents with kids in diapers


B)Older parents with teenagers – wondering  when is your real child going to return back to normal

1)Demanding Job or boss 


C)Many things that will leave you Physically wiped out –Seeking rest and reprieve.


I heard about a lady who had to go to the dentist for a root canal – she plopped down in the seat breathed a big sigh and smiled – the dentist looked at her puzzled and said – are you ok – she said yes – it is finally nice to just relax –


D)You know that something is really wrong when a root canal is considered relaxing


“Life is like wrestling a Gorilla – you don’t rest when you get tired you rest when the gorilla gets tired – problem is the gorilla never seems to get tired.”


E)But there is a weariness much more draining than physical fatigue.

Physical Fatigue is one thing – Emotional and Spiritual fatigue is the worst 

No matter what the fatigue and weariness you are dealing with today there is something way better than Sarah’s smash Shack

A)Jesus offers to you a great invitation and if you take him up on it –

It will Change not just your week but your life forever!


Matthew 11:28-30

 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 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.  30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

A great invitation that promises a wonderful result


Note Several things about this invitation!

#1 The invitation of Jesus stands in absolute contrast to the religious systems of man.


A)Religion basically says, “DO!”

Every religious system of man is all about what man must do in order to get to God.


B) “DO!” was the mantra of the Pharisees

1)THAT is one of the reasons they were so opposed to Jesus, who rather than say “DO!” said, “COME!”


C) In Matthew 23:4 Pronouncing Woe on the Pharisees

“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.” Matthew 23:4

“They crush people with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.” NLT

A)The religious leaders of the day had constructed endless pages of religious demands – that completely missed the heart of God


B)They had constructed a religious system that was like a ladder with a million steps to get to God.

1) Jesus completely ignored that ladder when – he said the words come to me


C)Genuine Christianity is NOT about what we might DO in order to be saved.

1)Salvation is NOT found in DOING


D)Salvation is only in a Person, Jesus Christ.



Being a Christian is all about COMING to the PERSON of Jesus.

A)Trusting in His work upon the Cross – make you right before God!


SO #1 These words of Jesus stand in absolute contrast to the religious systems of man.


#2  NOTICE what the invitation is to.

A)He did NOT say, “Come to religion,” or “Come to church.”


B)The Son of God is inviting you to come unto Him.

C)Church… Religion… is not the END.

1)Church should ONLY and ALWAYS serve the purpose us pointing us to Jesus.


Mamma where is the man who never lets us see Jesus


D)If your focus or attraction is me or some other vessel here – then I am not doing our Job -


SHEEP DOGS – Point you to Jesus – Get to know Him – fall in love with Him – want to serve and please Him


#3 Notice WHO is invited?

28Come unto me, all you  that labour and are heavy laden…

A)Jesus was certainly speaking to those who were exhausted and burdened down under the weight of RELIGION and LEGALISM –


B)Trying to relate to God on the basis of works.

Am I doing well enough for God to love me… accept me?

1)Such stuff CRUSHES men and women.


C)Religious systems create burdens – Performance treadmill – never run fast enough never stay on long enough.


But the invitation also speaks to those who are burdened under the weight of their sin.

(Psalm 38:4  For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.


A)Picture of a man drowning under the burden of sin 1)This is a burden that people try to be free from at any cost and by any means.


B)They try to rid of it through religious efforts


C)They try to be rid of it by re-defining sin so as to not feel guilty


D)Some will try to ignore or escape their sin thru Drugs or alcohol indulgence

1)But as soon as the Buzz wears off you realize you are right back where you started


ONLY Jesus who can remove THAT weight.

A)Because only Jesus bore the weight of the sin of the world on the cross!


B)Religious effort can not remove that weight

1)Moral reform can NOT remove that weight


C)No church can remove it.

ONLY Jesus can remove the burden of sin!   The guilt that goes along with it


The invitation also goes out to those who are living under the unbearable weight of trying to gratify every selfish, self-centered desire!

A)Living to please self is another huge Burden that constantly goes unsatisfied!


B)Have you ever noticed that the pp who have what you really want don’t seem to be happy


C)We live in the world of the next thing – the latest and the greatest – except most of us can’t afford to upgrade all the time – computers cars kitchens – what ever


D)Something I have noticed – the guy with the latest model is happy until the new latest model comes out –

1)or until he discovers – there are one or two things that His new car / iphone/ computer/ whatever doesn’t do – This would be perfect if it just did this


E)When you goal is life is to please yourself at all cost – that becomes a burden that you just can’t lift.


Now Whether you are talking about the burden of trying to please self

A)The burden of sin


B)The burden of religious performance

1)Or whatever the burden is that you are personally carrying

2)You can seek reprieve at the smash shack or you can respond to the words of Jesus today

Jesus says V. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

A)Literal translation –I will rest you – I will lead you beside the still waters – I will restore your soul


B)Like a Champion race horse – race after race – rough 3 yrs into of being beaten and pushed – now led out into the pasture – not beat and pushed anymore but now pampered


C)See the pressure of the race has been replaced by the pleasure of grace

1)We come to Jesus – we benefit from His race –


D)Author and finisher of our faith –

1)Running in his tale wind -  we enter his victory – we rest in Jesus and thru him we bear fruit


Runners world mag – Runners make the incorrect assumption –

“It is common for serious runners to make the assumption that once the soreness in their muscles and joints is gone then they are recovered –but 1,000’s of microscopic tares in the muscles can take 4-6 weeks to fully heal.”


E)In other words true healing takes more than a pause it takes – true rest

1)Same is true emotionally spiritually -  Only the grace of Jesus can produce that true rest


Invitation to Come to Him

The invitation to COME is followed by an invitation to TAKE. V.29  Take My yoke upon you……………, and you will find rest for your souls.

A)We often think of the fact that Jesus was a carpenter.


B) The carpenter in that day wasn’t framing up two by fours to build a house

1)Most houses in His day were made of stone or mud brick, and tile roofs.


C)Jesus might have made tables and Chairs – but the primary wood work of the carpenter living in rural Nazareth – surrounded by farms – was to make Yokes


D)The yoke was that wooden harness that they put upon the oxen so that they could pull the plow.


Common Custom:

In order to train a younger smaller Ox – a farmer would Yoke him with an older bigger OX

A)The pressure and weight was put on the older ox – the younger ox – learned the ropes.


B)That little bullock is being broken into the yoke but he is not actually pulling any weight.’


C)Same is true with us -when we are yoked with Jesus Christ.

 1)He bears the load and we who are yoked to Him share in the joy and the accomplishment of the labor but without the burden of the yoke.

The Invitation to take His Yoke is a call to be His disciple

A)He is calling us to serve, but we work and serve in the strength which He gives.


B) He is always there beside us pulling the weight for us, if we will only yield our lives to Him.


C)The only time the load becomes overbearing is when we try to take over and do the pulling, or handle the load ourselves.


It was Frank Sinatra who used to sing, “I Did It My Way.”

A)I am afraid that we all have lived out that song.


All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way….(Isaiah 53:6 NKJV)  


B)Our way can often lead to a lot of misery and pain.


C)EXAMPLE: Trying to do marriage YOUR way is a painful thing.

1)Trying to do parenthood YOUR way can lead to a lot of pain.

2)Trying to do business YOUR way can be painful. 


D)The simple truth is that we were never MADE to run our lives.

1)We were made to be governed by God. Led by God


The Rabbi’s in Israel also associated the idea of taking a Yoke with Learning.

A)The Sirach an ancient rabbinical writing

“Put your neck under the yoke and let your soul receive instruction.”


B)So the rabbi’s talked about the Yoke of instruction 1)They talked about the yoke of the torah...the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments.


C)Instruction was also on the mind of Jesus because He adds this phrase V.29  Learn of Me


D)It is a yoke of submission to His Lordship, to His teaching, to His instruction.

1)Yoke yourself to me and led me bear the weight


Let me lead your life – let me take you places you never dreamed possible


Then Jesus adds this statement in V.30

V.30 For my Yoke is easy my burden is light.

A)The word “easy” means “well-fitting.”


B)The ox would be brought to the carpenter, and the measurements were taken.

1) The yoke was then roughed out, and the ox brought back to have the yoke tried on.


C)Best yoke – allowed the animal the full range of motion without chaffing, the yoke was perfect for the ox

CRUCIAL APPLICATION: God’s will for your life is a PERFECT fit!

A)The will of God for you is not a burden to irritate you or hurt you; your task is made to measure to fit you.


Eric Liddell – Made me fast and I feel his pleasure when I run


B)Whatever God sends us is made to fit our needs and our abilities perfectly.


God’s will for your life is more than who you marry, where you live, what your job is.

A)It is a calling that has been tailor made by the Creator of the Universe for your life. Good at Creating


B)You discover what that is as you YOKE yourself to Him


C)I never dreamed of being a Pastor – now I know that is what God designed me to be –

1)and even in the times I feel not quite together – His grace – Perfect fit


D)As long as I am yoked to Jesus – As long as I am looking to Him and letting him lead the more I realize this is exactly where God wants me


D)The Goal of Christianity is to Learn of Him

1)He does all things well


New Believers Read gospel -  Mark – listen to his heart – watch how he treats people

A)Sees the outcast with compassion – sees the hurting /  Protects from the religious leaders


B)His heart toward you – The heart He wants to produce in you


C)Once you fall in love with Him – read John – be captured by His glory majesty and authority as God in the flesh


 Close by considering this one statement V.29  learn of me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart

A)Now this is  interesting?  Jesus only Biographical statement. and This is what He says of Himself.


B)Now if you were God come in human flesh and you thought you’d let it out of the bag a little and tell people who you really were,

1)how would you describe yourself?  Greatest !



“I’m all powerful.”   “I know everything.”

A)Isn’t it amazing? “I’m gentle  and lowly of heart.


B) Gentle also translated – Meek

Meekness isn’t weakness it is power under control – Stallion that has been Broken


C)Jesus didn’t need to be Broken – but he humbled himself – what Lowly means

                              Philippians 2:5-9


Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.


Jesus humbled himself and came to earth in meekness – came to heal to mend –

A)Came to represent the heart and love of God – Seeking savior  came to seek and save the lost


B)Many pp have this  idea of God was that He was up in heaven with a lightening bolt in His hand –


C) He is up there just waiting for them to mess up so He could throw lightening bolts to throw at them! POW!


D)I used to view God that way: He lived somewhere in the sky who was just waiting for me to blow it so He could get me.


Well He was waiting to get me.

A)But it wasn’t for the reasons I thought.


B)He was waiting to get me so He could put His arms around me.


C) He was waiting for me so that he could take every burden I was laboring under and take it upon Himself.

1) He was waiting for me so that HE could teach me about Himself.


D)He loves ME – LOVES YOU!


Jesus gives to all of us this great invitation!

A)Those of you trying to do life/ marriage/ parenting

Friendship on your own – Come to me


B)Be yoked to me – Let me lead you – teach you – empower you –

1)Find Rest for your souls – fruit for your lives


Jesus says to you today – Burned out by religious performance – those burdened by Sin!

A)Come to me -  I will give you rest


B)Died for you – Rose again – Life – Joy

1)Rest in my Finished work