A Golden Invitation

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist the morning of April 2, 2017
At 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia,  Tennessee

Matthew 11:25-30 (KJV)  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 ctkhe to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.   [28]   Come unto me, all ye that labor 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.

Jesus had just finished “upbraiding” the cities where He had done mighty works, clearing showing Himself to be Messiah, only to have these cities reject Him. There were three cities – Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida – an “Evangelical Triangle” where most of Jesus’ miracles were done. Yet for all of Jesus’ love, for all the good He did, they would not repent. Jesus cursed these cities – all predominantly Jewish – because of unbelief. He said:

Matthew 11:21-24 (KJV)   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.

Why did Jesus curse these cities more than any others? Archaeological excavations at these sites showed that the Synagogues – the Jewish places of worship in these cities – had become infused with the world.

The Synagogue at Chorazin allowed a Medusa, a god from Greek mythology, to be built into the wall. Jesus brought His Gospel of the Kingdom to these cities, but because the Synagogues (Churches) had so absorbed the world they refused to repent and turn to His loving embrace.

John 1:11 (ESV) {Jesus} came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

The people who were of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rejected their heritage and the covenant promises God made to them. In America many of the places of worship that used to glorify God now glorify humanism, New Age, and Eastern religions. The curse of Christ is on all who depart from the living God, but the blessing of Christ is on all who receive Him as He is.

In the midst of this amazing unbelief, our Lord prayed His first recorded prayer in the Gospels.

The First Prayer Of Jesus

Matthew 11:25 (KJV)  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father …

Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. We studied that a few weeks ago. Yet as we have read and studied through Matthew we have seen no recorded prayers of Jesus until now. Matthew 11:25 begins the first recorded prayer of Jesus in this Gospel. That doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t pray. I believe that Jesus stayed in contact with our Father at all times. Look at the text:

At that time – immediately after Jesus rebuked Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida

Jesus ANSWERED – Who did Jesus ANSWER? The Father!

Jesus was in a state of prayer, of contact with His Heavenly Father, at all times. He exemplified what the Apostle ordered:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)  Pray without ceasing.

A mere mortal would have been discouraged at what Jesus faced.

He went to three predominantly Jewish cities.

He preached and healed and blessed.

Matthew 11:5 (KJV)   The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Yet for all of this at the end of the day those cities rejected Him as He presented Himself.

The religious leaders called Jesus “a glutton and a drunkard” (Matthew 11:19). They said “Christ casts out devils by the Prince of devils” (Matthew 10:25). This has to be discouraging. Imagine if you will, preparing to preach and to teach for hours, yet have those whom you lovingly prepared for not only refuse to come, but to have them back stab you. Imagine giving of your soul to reach out to those in need, but being ridiculed by other “preachers”, mocked by other Satans, accusers, evil but “Reverend” men.

Jesus suffered in His ministry long before He suffered on the Cross of Calvary. He did good, but was evil treated. But Jesus ANSWERED.

This is a good example for us to follow. When confronted with evil that cannot be defeated, do not be discouraged. Look to the Father and PRAY!

Though rejected, though used and abused, Christ did not despair but hid Himself in the Father.

Jesus was in a state of prayer at all times. And following His rebuke to the three unbelieving cities Jesus answered not man, but His Father Who spoke to Him and encouraged Him. And in the midst of His rejection Jesus spoke to His Father. He was in a dialogue with the Father, and let that relationship be what gave Him courage.

Matthew 11:25 (KJV)  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, …

Praying, Jesus thanked the Father and magnified Him as Lord. In times of discouragement the greatest blessing is to know that the Father is LORD of Heaven and Earth. God does not just reign in Heaven. I was watching an old Arnold Schwarzenegger movie called “Conan the Barbarian” when he spoke of his false god Crom. He said “I seldom pray to Crom, for he never listens”. That’s how many people approach the True God of all, Yahweh. But our God does listen, and our God is in control. He is no fantasy, but the reality that makes all reality.

Psalm 90:1-2 (ESV) Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Though three cities should have been receptive to the Gospel, though these three rejected Christ, He was not discouraged. God is in control. God is in control no matter what may come. He oversees everything. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

Psalm 8:1-2 (ESV) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

Rather than be discouraged Christ sought God’s Face – and found Him faithfully with Him. God is with His Children. Jesus prayed, thanking the Father that …

Matthew 11:25 (KJV)  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.

The great truths of God – the salvation of His Gospel – cannot be understood by egg heads, by “the wise and prudent”, by those who think they know it all. To the self righteous Pharisees Christ said:

Matthew 9:12-13 (KJV)  … They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.   [13]   …. for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

If you think you are right before God, Christ is not for you. He came for broken people who acknowledge their brokenness. He came to help those who acknowledged their helplessness.

Many people never experience the blessings of God because of their pride. They want to go to God arrogantly, telling God what He must do. Jesus emphasized what faith is one day when:

Matthew 18:2-4 (ESV) … CALLING TO HIM A CHILD, HE PUT HIM IN THE MIDST OF THEM 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you TURN AND BECOME LIKE CHILDREN, YOU WILL NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

What is the way of salvation? To hear God. To hear Christ call.

To come to Him. To submit to Him. To run to His embrace.

This is the Way, the Truth, and the Life that God would have us all have.

It is only in surrender to God that you will be blessed! God hides His truth from the arrogant, but to those who come willingly to Him He blesses.

Whether You Believe Or Not
All Things Are Delivered To The Son

Matthew 11:26-27 (KJV) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.   [27]   All things are DELIVERED unto me of my Father: …

Jesus said “ALL THINGS are DELIVERED unto Me of My Father”. The word “DELIVERED” is the Greek παραδίδωμι paradidōmi, which means “have been given over to” or “have been surrendered to”. ALL THINGS are delivered over to Jesus. You cannot be saved without Jesus. The Father has placed ALL THINGS in the hands of Him who:

Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV)… is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

ALL THINGS are given over to Christ by the Father. The Apostles clearly preached:

Acts 4:12 (ESV)… there is salvation in no one else, for there is NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN by which we must be saved.

Acts 16:31 (ESV) … And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.

The early Church would bed amazed at how the modern American Church has muddled the message of salvation. Jesus was very clear that He and He alone is the way to salvation – and His Apostles understood this. Jesus continued…

Matthew 11:27 (KJV) … 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.

Word Study The word translated “KNOWETH” is the Greek ἐπιγινώσκω epiginōskō which means “to have an intimate knowledge of”. There are many who know of God, have a concept of God, but only Christ has an intimate knowledge of God. When we receive Christ as Savior Jesus can and does reveal the Father to us.

You may know God as “God”, but will not know Him as “Father” until you come surrendered to Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

What saves us from eternal damnation?

That God is our Father.

How does God become my “Father”?

When you come unto Him by faith in His Son.

Come Unto Christ

Matthew 11:28 (KJV) Come unto Me ….

  • Come To Christ. All things are placed in Christ’s hand. He has the keys of death and the grave. Jesus told John the Revelator:

Revelation 1:17-18 (KJV) … Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Jesus is the Source of all Life. Those Who come to Him have everlasting life. Comer to Him and live! He has defeated death. He has defeated the grave. He rose on the Third Day, and is alive forevermore. He has promised that ..

Matthew 19:29 (KJV)29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Jesus can make that promise, for He is the Author of Eternal Salvation to everyone who obeys Him! (Hebrews 5:9). Come to Christ, and live!

  • Come To Christ As You Are. Jesus did not say “Go and get yourself cleaned up, then come back and follow Me”. No, He said “Come unto Me, ALL”.

It does not matter who you are or what you have done. Turn from that old life, and turn to Jesus. Come! Come! He turns none away. Christ said “It is not the well who need a Doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but SINNERS to repentance”. Christ did not come for the arrogant, the prideful, the so called sinless. He came for the broken, the hurt, the weak. Jesus said:

Matthew 11:28 (KJV) Come unto me, ALL ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

He delights to come to those who surrender to Him.

I heard a story of a little orphan girl that was sick unto death. As she lay in hospital getting ready for surgery she told the girl in the next bed that she was frightened. Her companion told her, “Tell Jesus all about it, and let Him take care of you”. The little orphan said, “But how will Jesus know ME?” The child never knew her mother or father, and found it amazing that God would care for one such as her. Her friend said, “Put your hands out of the bed, and ask Jesus to take them. When He sees your empty hands He will know you are the one calling for Him.” The little orphan rolled over, put her hands outside of the bed. The next morning the doctor found the little girl was gone. Jesus came and took her to Himself.

If you labor and are heavy laden, put your hands out to Jesus. By faith reach toward Him. God cannot fill the full hand, but will bless the empty hand.

Let go of the world and latch onto the Christ. He will give you rest.

  • Come To Jesus As You Are Right NOW. Jesus commands that those weary and heavy laden comer to Him right now. Do not delay. So many people delay coming to Jesus for so many reasons. Come to Him and He will give you rest. Do not wait one more day.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)… behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.

What if you wait and die in your sins. Come to Him now. Right now. Receive Him, and be saved.

  • Come To Jesus As Your Lord And Savior. Jesus said:

Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV) 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.

A “Yoke” is what goes around a beast’s neck to control it. The Devil’s yoke is hard and heavy. He hurts us, and demands more and more until we are burdened beyond all reason. Not so with Christ. When you come to Christ surrendered to His control, His hand is light ands loving. Jesus will bless you more than you can imagine.

To live for Jesus is the beginning of true life. Come to Him today. Give your life to Him today! May God lead you to salvation through faith in Him.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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