Rest In The Heart Of Jesus

Turn with me to Matthew chapter 11, where we find these familiar and blessed words:

Matthew 11:28-30 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.

Though God has given us four Gospels – four points of view of Christ’s earthly ministry – rarely one Gospel will report something that the others do not mention. The words we read today are unique to the Gospels. Though you will find the Lord’s Prayer in both Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4, and the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 & Mark 16:14-18 (as well as Acts 1:8), these words of our Lord are only found in this text.

What makes this text unique is that it is the ONLY place where Jesus tells us about His own heart!

What Is The “Heart”?

Word Study: Jesus tells us I am meek and lowly in heart. Let’s talk about the heart first. What is the Lord referring to when He speaks of the heart? The Bible mentions the word heart” 884 times, and it never refers to the muscle that’s in your chest pushing blood. God Himself has a heart. The Lord God said of King David,

Acts 13:22 … I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.

God has a heart, so that which He is talking about cannot be that beating muscle in your chest.

The heart is the center of your being. The Bible says that we are born with broken or damaged hearts. God spoke through His Prophet Jeremiah on the fallen condition of our hearts:

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart…

God knows what is in the heart of man. It is the sin damaged heart of man that brings evil into the world. Jesus told us that the SOURCE of our problems is a broken heart. He said:

Mark 7:20-23 …. That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

We are all born in sin, with broken hearts.
All, that is, but Jesus Christ.

God told Israel to to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” (Deuteronomy 13:3). Jesus tells us today that we are to:

Matthew 22:37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (also Mark 12:30 & Luke 10:27)

This is a standard we cannot keep with a broken heart. God must fix our broken hearts, He must put His Law in our inward parts, and write His Law in our hearts(Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). Only God can fix what is wrong with our hearts. God will only fix us through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus, Pure Of Heart, Wants To Fix Our Hearts

Jesus calls whosoever will to His loving embrace. Jesus’ – Eternal God born into the human race to be our Savior (for He shall save His people from their sins {Matthew 1:21}). Jesus is equipped to be the only Savior of mankind because His heart is pure and unbroken. Jesus Christ was, is, and will always be without sin. His heart is pure. The Bible says:

Hebrews 4:15 {Jesus Christ} was in all points tempted like as we are, yet WITHOUT SIN. Emmanuel – God with us – our Lord Jesus never sinned, from birth in a manger to death on the Cross. Jesus told the Pharisees and Chief Priests who stood against Him:

John 8:28-29 … When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

From eternity past and beyond His life on earth, Jesus always did that which pleased God the Father. ALWAYS. He is perfectly sinless. When Jesus describes His heart, He says:

Matthew 11:29 I am meek and lowly in heart

Word Study: His heart is not “desperately wicked, who can know it?”. Jesus’ heart is meek. This is the Greek πρᾷος prâios, {pronounced prah’-os}, which means “gentle, humble, meek”. The word prâios is only found here in the New Testament, and is only applied to Jesus. The word usually used for humility is the Greek ταπεινόω tapeinoō. James, the stepbrother of Jesus said “Humble (tapeinoō) yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10). The Apostle Peter said, “Humble (tapeinoō) yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). Jesus Christ is unique in His humility. He is prâios. Though Eternal God in human form, Jesus voluntarily humbled Himself. Though King of Kings and Lord of Lords the Bible says:

Philippians 2:6-8 {Jesus}, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus Christ humbled Himself – from birth to death – so that He might save the souls of sinners. Compare Jesus Christ to Mohammad of Islam. As American troops departed Afghanistan, Islamic forces called “Taliban” (which means “A Student of Mohammad” began attacking and killing people. When our Lord Jesus came, He said:

Matthew 11:28-29 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.

Compare our Lord Jesus’ words to the words of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini: “Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Islam says Kill them (the non-Muslims), put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you!” (quoted in “Islam Unveiled” by Robert Spencer, p. 35). As C.H. Spurgeon once said:

The very strength of the false prophet lays
in the absence of any meekness”

Jesus bids all to come to Him, but He does not do so at the point of a sword, nor at the promise of a beheading. Jesus Christ is, at this time, prâios. He reaches out in love, bidding all to enter the Family of God through faith in Him. When Jesus was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Apostle Peter “drew his sword, and struck a servant of the High Priest, and cut off his ear”. Jesus told Peter:

Matthew 26:52 … Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Jesus had to go to the Cross for our sins. Jesus had to willingly die for us, to cover our sins, to make atonement for us. Jesus told Pilate:

John 18:36 … My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Jesus calls the broken hearted to His humble side! We often misunderstand this great truth, dear Christian. When Jesus was hindered from going to Jerusalem through Samaria, the Apostle John asked Jesus:

Luke 9:54 … Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as {Elijah} did?

The Muslim or the Hindu may cut off the head of those who reject their religion, but not Jesus. Jesus told John,

Luke 9:55-56 … Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.

Jesus Christ came to save souls. Jesus preached a long time in Jerusalem, and yet they would not receive Him. Did Jesus curse Jerusalem? No, but He wept over that city, saying:

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

When Jesus was beaten by the whips of the soldiers, did He curse those who harmed Him? When Jesus was laid down on the rough wood of the Cross, and nails pierced His hands and feet, did He call on Heaven to bring death to those hurting Him? As He hung naked, bleeding our His life, abandoned of man and God, did Jesus call on the angels to avenge Him? No, for Jesus is prâios. He has Godlike humility. Even as His tongue clung to the roof of His mouth for want of water, Jesus pulled against His bonds, and lifted Himself up, praying:

Luke 23:34 … Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Meekness Does Not Excuse, But Corrects Sin

Jesus upheld the Law of God, and upholds it still. He never flaunted God’s Law, but held it to the Divine Standard at all times. Jesus did not come to eradicate the Law, but to fulfill it.

Matthew 5:17-18 … Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus humbled Himself, becoming the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Jesus never excused sin, but bid sinners to repent of sin and follow Him. The Apostle said Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus did not come to shun sinners, nor to belittle sinners, but to save sinners. In John chapter four we are told that:

John 4:4 … {Jesus} must needs go through Samaria.

Why did He have to go THROUGH Samaria? Most Orthodox Jews would go out of their way to AVOID Samaria. But Jesus must needs go through Samaria. Why? Because there is a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well that needs to be saved. When Jesus reaches out to her, she says:

John 4:9 … How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

No self respecting Jew would reach out to a Samaritan. Yet Jesus did. Jesus is uniquely humble. He is prâios”, He is humble.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart

Word Study & Illustration: The word translated lowly is the Greek ταπεινός tapeinós, {pronounced tap-i-nos’}, which means “of low degree, humble, base, near to the ground”. As a Pastor, I have moved and preached in three different states, and in my moving I usually use a Hertz Rental Trailer. One thing about these trailers is they are low to the ground, so it is easy to carry heavy burdens onto their decks. Our Lord Jesus is low to the ground. Though Eternal God in human form, He is easily accessible to the least of any person, while being strong enough to handle any burden we put on Him.

The Samaritan woman wondered why a Jew like Jesus would talk to her at all. Jesus will talk to anyone. This not only shocked her, but it shocked His disciples. The Bible says that they …

John 4:27 … marveled that he talked with the woman

Jesus Christ came to save the lowest, just like you and I are. Jesus did not excuse her sins. He told her “Ye worship ye know not what” (John 4:22). Jesus told her “thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband” (John 4:18). This woman had a broken heart that needed fixing. She was an idolater, and a sexual sinner. This woman needed Jesus. She needed to receive Him as Lord and Savior – which she did. Then she ran home, excited, and told all her friends “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29). Her heart was fixed, healed by Jesus.

Jesus Christ is lowly in heart. He came to reach the least of us. When a woman taken in adultery – in the very act – was cast in front of Jesus, her accusers asked Jesus what should be done to her. Jesus said,

John 8:7 … He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Who among you is NOT broken? Who among you has NOT sinned? One by one, each of her accusers realized a truth that we all need to grasp.

We are all sinners, deserving of hell.
This is why Jesus came.

When the last person left, Jesus said to her:

John 8:10-12 … Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus never excuses sin – but He does offer salvation from it. Jesus offers to change the life of those who follow Him, who love Him. He is uniquely humble. Though in Jewish society the leper was shunned. To touch a leper was to become unclean yourself. But with Jesus, He was never afraid to touch the lepers. The Bible tells us that …

Matthew 8:2-3 … there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Jesus is meek and lowly in heart. He did not hesitate to touch the leper. When Jesus touched the leper, Jesus did not become unclean, but the leper became clean. Jesus’ righteousness rubbed off on him. You cannot be too low for Jesus to heal. You cannot be too broken for Jesus to fix. The Pharisees mocked Jesus for His lowliness.

Luke 15:2 … the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

Jesus doesn’t just allow those sinners to come to Him. Jesus actually lowers Himself down to eat with them. No one is too low to be received by Jesus. Salvation comes when you realize that ..

Psalms 38:3-4 There is no soundness in my flesh … neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. {4} For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

Our solutions for what ails us does not work. We cannot fix our own hearts. We all need Jesus.

Illustration Benny was known by all his friends as a chronic worrier. He came into work one day whistling and happy. No matter what happened that day – good or bad – Benny smiled right through it. At the end of the day his best friend asked him why his life was suddenly so different. Benny said, “I used to worry about everything. Then it came to me – why not hire someone to worry for me? That’s what I did. I put an advertisement in the local paper offering 500.00$ a day to anyone who would worry for me. Believe it or not I had someone call and take the job. Now I don’t worry – my worrier worries for me!” Benny’s friend looked at him and said, “Well, that’s fine. But 500.00$ a day? You don’t make that much money! How are you going to pay your “worrier”. Benny replied, “That’s not my worry”.

I don’t think what Benny did was a solution – but I do believe you should cast your cares on Jesus. Beloved, do not carry your sin on trembling knees and on bent back. The words of Christ are for you. He pleads, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest “. Oh that you would come believing, for the Scripture says:

Romans 10:11,13 … Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. … {13} For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Jesus Bids You To Come …

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

When we come to Jesus Christ, trusting Him as our Savior and committing to Him as our Lord, He gives us spiritual rest. Oh, what a joy it is to be in Jesus! Those who are in Christ are under His New Covenant. As we participate in the Lord’s Table today, we will remember His words when He “took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Jesus gave His life for you. Jesus reaches out to you. Will you receive Him as Lord and Savior? Oh, how I pray that you would this very day. May God the Holy Spirit cause this Word to bring forth fruit unto Eternal Life in your souls this very day. Amen and Amen!

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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