Making Space for Rest

Brian Mahon - 11/28/2021


Text: Matthew 11:25-30

Summary: Jesus has just declared the condemnation of those cities that have not repented in light of His revelation. Far from discouragement, He looks to His Father, the Lord of Heaven and earth, and thanks Him for the inscrutable wisdom of His eternal decree as it relates to the saving efficacy of the truth about Jesus. He hides from those who think they see and reveals to those who, by common grace, know they're rather blind. Still, that is not a merit. The revelation of Christ in the soul is according to sheer grace. It is completely cut off from Man's ability to know. Only God knows God---but Christ chooses to reveal Him to His people. It is His to give. To that end, He gives a rather general call to all who, having a sense of their spiritual death, destitution, and despair, would come to Him for grace and rest. A yoke, a classroom, even a burden abides for any who do, but the Master has changed, and that is all the difference. He is gentle and lowly in heart. He relieves the burden of the yoke, finally, by exchanging our sin and shame for His saving grace. Where Christ, then, takes up more room in our hearts, our hearts will find more space for Rest.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Jesus thanking: the Father's pleasure, 11:25-26
  2. Jesus revealing: the Son's grace, 11:27
  3. Jesus calling: the soul's rest, 11:28-30


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Matthew 11:25-30. What has Jesus just done and said? That is, what is the immediate context in Matthew?
  2. In 11:25-26, Jesus thanks the Father. What does He further call Him? What does He attribute to Him? What is at issue in either case? Who are 'the wise and understanding'? Who are the 'little children'? Is being a little child meritorious in some sense; that is, does it put God in our debt? If not, why not? And how can we know that from 11:26? To Whom does Jesus attribute the gift of saving sight? In thanking Him for it, are we right to criticize Him for it, if we do so?
  3. In 11:27, Jesus says that the Father has entrusted all things to the Son, i.e., Jesus; and here, particularly the achievement of His sovereign pleasure, stated in 11:25-26. Who knows the Father? Who knows the Son? What's the declaration made in that about Man? If Christ did not reveal Himself to us, would any of us ever have known Him? As a matter of ultimate cause, why will any come to Him at His invitation?
  4. In 11:28-30, Jesus extends His invitation. To whom does Jesus extend it? To what is it extended? Does divine sovereignty cancel out our responsibility to come to Christ per Jesus? How does the secret counsel of God even demand general call to Christ? What, do you think, is meant by souls that are heavy-laden with hard-labors? What does Jesus offer instead? What is meant by His rest? Does it remove the yoke, classroom, or burden---or just the Master?
  5. This Advent season, let Jesus encourage you and us to find rest in Him---rest for our souls, rest from a guilty conscience, rest from Satan's stripes, rest from attempting sovereignty in our lives, rest from our anxieties, rest for our bodies, rest that typifies the Rest to come. Prepare room in your hearts for Jesus. As He increases, so too will our sense of His peace, gentility, and love.
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