Calvary Road Baptist Church

“COME UNTO ME” Part 1

Matthew 11:28

This morning’s sermon will be very, very simple. I will do very little explaining, because while explaining is oftentimes necessary, explaining also runs the great risk of needlessly confusing people the explanations are supposed to help.

I remember taking calculus my freshman year at Oregon State University. One of the basic ideas of calculus is what is called the limit concept. I remember the math professor explaining the limit concept as it applied to beginning calculus, and I thought I understood what he was talking about the first day of class. But I came back the next day and the professor went into an elaborate explanation of the limit concept and completely confused me, so confused me that though I could work the math problems and get the right answers, I was terrified that I had missed understanding the concept altogether. I remember thinking to myself, “This can’t be right. It’s too easy. Calculus is supposed to be hard, so I couldn’t have understood the limit concept from the first day.” Well, it turned out that I did grasp the concept the first day, but the professor’s further explanations only confused me. I wonder how many other freshman math students he confused in exactly the same way.

So that I don’t end up confusing you about something that is very, very simple, I will do everything I can this morning to minimize any explanations I feel compelled to set before you. I just want to show you that it as easier than you can imagine for any sinner to get saved.

Turn in your Bible to Matthew 11, and read six verses with me. We will read Matthew 11.25-30, but I will only preach on Matthew 11.28:

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

In verses 25-26, the Lord Jesus Christ offers a brief prayer of thanksgiving to His heavenly Father in the company of the multitudes surrounding Him. In verse 27, He makes an astonishing statement about His relationship to His heavenly Father. His short prayer and subsequent comment showed the people two things: First, God has revealed to babes things He has not revealed to the wise and prudent. Second, the Father and the Son are so vitally connected that to know the Son is to know the Father.

My Lord’s short prayer had the effect of putting the people who heard Him praying at ease. They knew they were not high and mighty. And when they heard His prayer, they knew they did not need to be high and mighty to know God. Their understanding was very simple, but God reveals things to babes that He reveals to no one else, so those who are simple in their understanding are okay.

As well, though the heavenly Father was rightly perceived as being frightening and formidable to them, terrible in majesty and awesome in His glory, Jesus was standing right there in their midst, so intimately related to God the Father that to know Jesus meant you would also know the Father. What could be more reassuring than those straightforward truths?

So, with their minds settled by this prayer Jesus had just prayed to His Father, listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ said to them. These are the very next words to come out of His mouth after praying to His Father in heaven. He looks at the people around Him and says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

In verses 29-30, He makes some short statements to coax His listeners to respond, but the essence of what He says is verse 28: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Four comments related to this very simple and straightforward statement telling sinners how to get saved:

First, THE COMMAND OF THE SAVIOR


“Come unto me”

Notice that He does not tell those listening to really actually do anything beyond an act of will. There are no religious requirements for them to fulfill. Perhaps surprising to Jewish ears, He does not direct them to go to Moses, or to try to obey the Law of Moses. That will do them no good.

No, He invites His hearers to come to Him. He is the target. He is the goal. He is the solution to what ails them. He is what they want. He is the provider of what they need. “. . . the knowledge of God, and the mysteries of grace, are only to be come at through him.”[1]

Now, I ask you, how hard is that? How complicated is that? How difficult is that to understand? What toddler does not know what is meant by the words “Come here”?

Those people wanted to know God. They wanted their sins forgiven. They had shown their curiosity about the things of God and the forgiveness of sins by following Jesus around, and by being there that day.

So, having put them at ease by praying a prayer that showed them they could understand things the high and the mighty could not understand, and could be related to the fearsome God through someone who was not fearsome to them, He then said to them “Come unto me.” Simple.


Next, THE CONDITION OF THOSE COMMANDED


They were unsaved people. They were dead in trespasses and sins. They lived in the cities the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned only moments earlier when He said,

21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Worse for them than the pagan idolaters He mentioned? What would you think if the Lord Jesus Christ had pronounced woes on the cities of Monrovia and Arcadia, Pasadena and Covina, Glendale and Glendora, that were worse than Sodom and Gomorrah? Would you think you were in good shape because you live in Temple City or San Gabriel instead of Glendora? I don’t think so.

You would rightly understand that the Lord Jesus Christ was really saying that everyone in the area was in big trouble, and that it would be worse for them come judgment day than the so-called wicked heathens of history.

Think about it for a moment. Some of you have done more and some of you have done less. Some of you have tried religion and others of you have tried philosophy. Maybe you tried nothing, because you knew it wouldn’t work. But everyone in that crowd that day, those who had tried to obey the Law of Moses and those that had not, were all in the same terrible fix. You are all in the same terrible fix they were in.

The phrase the Lord used was, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden.” In other words, those of you who are in a mess and you know it, those of you who are guilty and you know it, those of you who are condemned and you know it, those of you who are lost and you know it. To a greater or lesser degree, you are just bogged down by the burdens of sin.


Third, THE CONDUCT OF THOSE COMMANDED


The phrase the Lord Jesus Christ used was, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden.” Perhaps there were some in the crowd who did not particularly feel like they had labored or that they were heavy laden. Nevertheless, keep this in mind: They had left off what they would normally have been doing that day, and were standing with thousands of other people listening to the Lord Jesus Christ.

They had already come to Him in some sense of the phrase. They had moved from their homes to where He was. They had moved from their daily tasks to where He was. They had inconvenienced themselves to a greater or lesser degree to stand there and listen to Him. So, you have to keep in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ is not inviting those people to physically come to Him, since He well knew that they had already done that.

Consider yourself this morning. Have you not departed from a routine to come here? Have you not chosen to do this instead of some other thing you could have done, or you would have done, had you not come here today? And though the Savior is not here today, you did come to hear about the Savior today, did you not?

So, you are a complete match to those people the Lord Jesus Christ was talking to so long ago. Whether you have a conscious awareness of it or not, you have engaged in some level of labor, and you are experiencing some degree of being weighed down by your sins. You know that you are not prepared for eternity. You know that heaven is presently not your destiny. And you know that you are guilty in the sight of God.

Thus, what the Lord Jesus Christ directed those people to do He directs you to do. Same kind of people. Same kind of predicament. Same requirement for you that He stated for them. He is not sending you anywhere. He is not tasking you with any complicated assignment. He is just inviting you to come to Him. Simple. Straightforward. Uncomplicated. Just do it.


Finally, THE PROMISE THE SAVIOR MAKES AND KEEPS


If a sinner, any sinner, will actually come to Him, He promises to give you rest. Why so? Because this is a blanket invitation to everyone in His audience that day, and to whoever comes under the sound of gospel preaching in our day. How so? Because He said, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father,” Matthew 11.27. In other words, He was given the authority by His Father to make this promise.

What this means is that anyone who will come to Christ will be saved from your sins. That is a promise the Lord Jesus Christ made, and that is a promise the Lord Jesus Christ has both the authority and the might to keep.

“But pastor, you once said that this invitation applied only to those sinners who labored and were heavy laden.” I did, and I still believe that to be true. However, laboring and being heavy laden is not always reflected by a person’s feelings, by his emotional state. Many have labored and are heavy laden without knowing they were in such a state, just as were many who heard the Lord Jesus Christ speaking that day.

So, how do you know when someone is laboring and is heavy laden? You will only know when he comes to Christ. If a sinner comes to Christ, he was laboring and was heavy laden, even though he might not have realized it at the time.

In conclusion, this morning, keep some things in mind that I think will help you. This is very simple. First, keep in mind that getting saved is very, very simple. Remember, just before He invited sinners to come to Him, the Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father and thanked Him that He had revealed to babes what He had hidden from the wise and prudent. Therefore, getting saved is not the result of some complex negotiations, or the consequence of some series of intricate religious accomplishments. It is simple enough that babes can come to Christ. Second, you may have already fulfilled the conditions and the conduct of those commanded to come to Him. Keep in mind, He did not invite the lackadaisical or disinterested to come to Him, but those who labored and who were heavy laden. But my observation has been, as I look back on my own experience, that there are those who labor and who are heavy laden without being conscious of it. If you will come to Christ, you have evidence by that action that you were laboring and that you were heavy laden. Third, the fact that you are here, and that you are listening, and that for most of you this is not your first time here (meaning you have come back again and again), suggests to me the possibility that the Spirit of God is dealing with you in ways you do not understand, and will not comprehend, until some time after you get saved. Finally, just know that if you come to Jesus Christ He will save you. As did those Christ spoke to in Matthew 11.28, you have already come here. You have already done the difficult part. You have already disrupted your routine and deviated from what most other people like you are doing. What is needed now is that very small step of faith, to actually come to Christ. Simple.

When you were a little baby, your momma said, “Come here.” Perhaps you didn’t come to momma the first time, or the second time, or the third time. Perhaps you tried to come and stumbled once, or twice, or twenty times. But eventually, when momma said, “Come here,” you actually came. I propose that you do that now.

I urge you not to complicate things by trying to do that which is right in your own mind. In other words, do not respond to Christ’s command to “Come unto me” by trusting Him, or by receiving Him, or by believing on Him. Keep it very, very simple. Just come to Him, and He will save you. He promises, and He delivers.



[1] John Gill, The Collected Writings of John Gill - Version 2.0, (Paris, AK: The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., 2000-2003)

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pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org