REASONS WHY WE SHOULD ACCEPT
THE MASTER'S GREAT INVITATION
Are some texts in the Bible more important than others? I think all of the Bible is important, but some passages could be called the "Great Texts of the Bible." I believe our text is one of the great texts of the Bible and that is why I preach these three sermons from this one passage of scripture.
We have looked at the Master's great invitation, the Master's rest and
now, reasons why we should accept the Master's Great Invitation.
I. Because He is Gentle. v 29
Is being gentle a desirable quality? In our concept of manhood a boy is reared with the idea of becoming tough and athletic. For someone to say "follow me because I am gentle or meek" doesn't immediately seem to be appealing. But this meekness or gentleness is in contrast to the life style of the Pharisees.
Jesus was not harsh or overbearing
Jesus was not oppressive
Jesus was not like the Pharisees.
On a few occasions I have agreed to go horseback riding. What it turned out to be was horseback sitting, because the gentle animal I asked for couldn't seem to move at all. But on other occasions I have been around other horsemen who really knew how to get on of these animals to perform.
The skilled horseman might then come over by me and my children and say, "go ahead and pet him because he is very gentle. Not once did I interpret the idea of gentleness as weakness, absence of power or lack of ability. I understood this animal was very powerful but the spirit that controlled him was very gentle.
Even though that illustration is about an animal, it can illustrate
the idea of gentleness or meekness in the life of Jesus. It doesn't mean
a lack of power or ability; it means great power harnessed and controlled
for good. Therefore, we who come to Him can receive from Him a gentle attitude
II. Because He is Humble in Heart. v 29
The Lord is humble. We can learn more about what it means to be humble by contrasting humbleness against other human characteristics. It is a lowly attitude rather than a haughty one. Of course you remember Pr. 6:16-17 talks about seven things the Lord hates and number one on the list is haughty eyes. The Lord has a humble heart and I'm sure it affected His eyes.
Continuing the contrast of humility, it is poor, rather than proud. It is a descending spirit rather than an elevated one. Jesus was less demanding than the law of Judaism. He was humble in heart.
Dr. David Garland was my Hebrew professor. He also teaches the Old Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary/ His students always talk about him as a man of God and a very humble person. They are surprised when he insists on opening and holding the door for a student to enter, rather than entering before the student. Here is an indication of the deeper truth that this is a humble person. Even though He carries the grade book he is not haughty.
Jesus is God, but as man He was humble. Jesus has the grade book and
the book of life, but He is humble. Our attitude can be one of humility
as we learn of Him.
III. Because His Yoke is easy. v 30
Let me remind you that a yoke is a heavy wooden frame used to tie two animals together so they could pull together and bear the same load or responsibility. Figuratively, it means that Christians are in a yoke of service with the Lord Jesus Christ. He says His yoke is easy, therefore, service He requires is easily rendered.
The phrase, "take my yoke upon you" uttered earlier by Jesus, had come to also mean enroll in my school.' Putting these two phrases about the yoke together, we can conclude the Lord has easy courses of instruction in the school where we learn of Him. His yoke is easy, good and kind. One commentator said, "O blessed yoke that bears the bearer up because it is lined with love.
A thorough study of this passage will reveal several commentaries telling the following fable. The fable states that God originally created birds without wings but nevertheless expected them to fly. The birds tried desperately, but never succeeded. God then came to the birds and offered them wings. Some birds accepted while others said they would fly without any additional help. Naturally the birds that accepted wings flew and the others died failing to ever fly.
When the Lord says His yoke is easy, He is saying He makes learning
of Him and serving Him easy in His yoke. The person who tries to serve
Him in their yoke, refusing to accept the Lord's yoke, never really serves
IV. Because His Burden is Light. vs 30
How can a burden or load be light? It seems like a contradiction of terms. But we must keep in mind that the Lord is exchanging burdens with those who have labored and are heavy laden. The Lord replaces the world's burden with His, and by comparison, His burden is light. Compared to the laws and rituals of the Pharisees, the Lord's way is light.
When we take on the yoke and the burden associated with the new Master, He lays on us a new load, but what a difference. How do you spell relief? The Master's Burden.
In our new Educational Building, there are 750 square yards of carpet. Thursday, a van and a pickup truck brought the carpet to our building. I watched from my office as they began to unload. I thought the two men would carry the carpet on their shoulders, but that was before I saw the size of the rolls. Then these men rolled out a strange looking cart especially made to handle large rolls of carpet and they proceeded with very little difficulty.
The human life can not be lived without having some burden to bear. The Lord has a way to make burdens easy to bear. It is by taking His yoke and exchanging burdens.
Tonight we will sing a hymn of decision to invite you to receive the
Master's great invitation. It is first of all for you who has not trusted
Christ. But it is also for you have a need to rededicate your life or more
your membership. You come as we sing.
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And Beyond. Amen? Amen!