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A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, JUNE 1, 1902.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 14, 1878.
"Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
I HAVE often preached from this text. [Sermon #265, Volume 5, THE MEEK AND LOWLY ONE; #969, Volume 17, REST, REST; #1322, Volume 22, REST FOR THE LABORING; #1691, Volume 28, CHRIST'S WORD WITH YOU; #2298, Volume 39, THE CHRIST-GIVEN REST and #2708, Volume 47, THE OLD GOSPEL FOR THE NEW CENTURY] I hope, if I am Spared, to often preach from
it in the future. It is one of those great constellation texts which, like certain stars which shine so brightly in the sky, have served as a guide to mariners—they have helped to direct many a poor tempest-tossed seaman into the harbor he wanted to reach—and these texts have guided many into the haven of everlasting peace. Among the many stars up yonder in the heavens, there are some that are so conspicuously set and so peculiarly brilliant, that they are sure to be observed. And amidst the many precious promises in God's Word, this is one of the very brightest—it has gladdened thousands of weary eyes and cheered untold myriads of burdened souls.
This morning we were meditating upon the thirst of Christ while hanging on the Cross [Sermon #1409, Volume 24, the SHORTEST OF THE SEVEN CRIES] and I tried to show you the mystic
meaning hidden within the letter meaning of His short but suggestive cry, "I thirst." Our Lord Jesus Christ still thirsts for the souls of men. He thirsts for our salvation and here is one of His thirst-cries—"Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
I am not going to look at our text, as we usually do, and as we most properly do, from man's point of view, but, rather, from Christ's. I shall speak at this time of the longing desire which was deep down in His soul and which made Him give sinners these frequent and urgent invitation to come unto Him. What was it that made Him so anxious those men should come to Him? They were, many of them, most unwilling to accept His invitations. No, worse than that, they often derided Him—but still He cried, not merely once or twice, but His whole life-cry was—"Come unto Me." And as long as Mercy's gate stands open, Christ's continuous cry, until He comes again, will be, "Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This sacred passion of our Savior's soul moved Him to entreat sinners to come to Him almost as if they could, thereby, confer some favor upon Him by coming—whereas it was only that they might receive of His mercy, "and Grace for Grace."
I. To help in bringing out of the text the thought of our Savior's longing for the souls of men, I want, first, to answer the question—WHO IS HE? Who is He that thus says, "Come unto Me"? Who is this who so anxiously desires that those who labor and are heavy laden should come to Him, that He may give them rest?
If you look at the connection of our text, you will see that the answer to this question is that it is One who has often been rejected. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." When He mingled freely with the sons of men, in all the gentle manliness, cordiality and sympathy which were so characteristic of Him, when He sat with them at their tables and ate and drank with them, instead of saying, "How condescending He is!" they murmured at Him and said that He was "a gluttonous Man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." When He walked through their streets and worked His wondrous miracles of Grace and mercy, they attributed them to Satanic agency! Yet, after all that, He still stood and cried, again and again, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me!" Their rejection of Him could not chill the
warmth of His affection—He would not take their cruel negative, but He kept on crying, even as He did on that last great day of the feast, "If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me, and drink." They turned their backs upon Him, but He cried so much the more, "Come unto Me." They called Him all that was evil, yet His only answer was, "Come unto Me." That same rejected Savior, whom, perhaps, dear Friend, you have also rejected, lo, these many years, still stands as if He were rooted to the spot and cries to you, "Come, come, come unto Me, and I will give you rest."
This is He, too, who, but a little while before, had warned them that to reject Him involved the most fearful guilt. "Tyre and Sidon," He said, "suffer not such a heavy penalty as guilty Capernaum does. Sodom and Gomorrah were swept away, but not with so dire a doom as awaits Chorazin and Bethsaida, which have rejected My message of mercy." Jesus looks, with deep pity upon His face, on the many who spurn Him and warns them of their terrible fate if they continue to refuse His invitations. But having done so, He again says to them, "Come unto Me." He tells them that they will surely die unless they come to Him and then He cries to them, "Why will you die? Turn you, turn you, for why will you die, O house of Israel?" No lips of mortal man ever spoke so honestly and so terribly concerning the wrath to come, as did the lips of Jesus—but that was because they were the lips of Infinite Love! He courted not popular applause by endeavoring to make out that the punishment of the guilty will be slight. It was He who spoke of Hell, "where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched." It was He who said, concerning the ungodly, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment." Yet He turns around—no, I must correct myself, and not say, "yet"—but becauseof that honest affection which makes Him speak the truth even when it is most unpalatable, He turns around again and again, and repeats the cry, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! This is your sole hope—come unto Me, and I will give you rest."
Do you ask again who He is that utters these words? I answer—it is He who knows His Father's eternal purpose and yet fears not to give this invitation. Just before He uttered our text, He said, "I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes." Yes, He knows all about the everlasting decrees of God! He is the Lamb that can take the sealed book from His Father's right hand and He can open every one of its seals, for He alone knows the things of God. Yet that great and glorious Doctrine of Divine Predestination had never steeled His heart, nor made Him grow callous and indifferent to the needs of the souls of men—but all the knowledge that He had of the decrees of God did but cause Him to cry the more earnestly, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." There is nothing, then, written in God's blessed Book that can render it unlawful for you to come to Jesus, for He who knows all that is there still bids all of you who labor and are heavy laden, to come unto Him—and more than that, it is He who knows all things who invites you to come!
Who is He that speaks thus? Why, it is He who has all power. Just before He uttered this invitation He had said, "All things are delivered unto Me of My Father." So, in one sense, He does not need you to help Him. He is not beating up recruits because His army is short of soldiers—nor is He seeking your support to buttress His falling throne. All things have been delivered into His hands by His Father! All power is given unto Him in Heaven and in earth—and it is He who says to you, "Come unto Me." He does not invite you in order that you may bring power to Him, but that you may receive power from Him! If you come unto Him, He will help you to overcome your sins and to bear your daily burdens. Or He will lift them up from your galled shoulders and bear them all Himself! It is "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace," who says, in the words of our text, "Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Once more, it is He who is the Son of God, and infinitely blessed, who says to sinners, "Come unto Me." It is, to me, a very wonderful fact that He should stand there, in the streets of Jerusalem, or Capernaum, or Jericho, or walk along the highways of Palestine crying to unwilling hearers, "Come, come, come unto Me," as if He needed them. Yet He needed them not and He needs us not in that sense. Myriads of angels are waiting to fly at His command! He has but to will it and He can create as many more legions as He pleases! What is our whole race to Him? If we had all passed away, like the gnats of a summers evening, our Lord Jesus Christ would have been just as glorious as He is now! And yet—oh, wondrous condescension!—He cries out for the souls of men! He begs, He pleads, He entreats them with tears that well up from His very soul, to come to Him! And when they will not come—oh, wonder, you angels!—He still stands and gazes on them, with the tears streaming from His eyes, as when He wept over guilty Jerusalem, and still He says, "How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!"
It is a strange sight—the Son of God entreating sinners to have mercy on themselves, yet the guilty ones unwilling to receive the mercy! One would have thought that we had but to proclaim a full and free salvation and all would have accepted it. One would have dreamed that the Christ of God had but to come to earth and men would at once flock around Him and beseech Him to exercise His Divine and saving power! But it was not so and, still, it is He who pleads with men—not men who plead with Him. They have not to cry to Him, "Come unto us, and give us rest," but He has to stand and plead pathetically with them, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me," for they will not come and they still turn their backs upon Him. Alas that it should be so!
II. But now, secondly, let us ask—WHOM DOES HE CALL, AND WHY?
Whom does He call? I could almost have understood it if He had said, "Come unto Me, you kings and princes." He is King of kings and He might well invite them to come to Him, but He does not invite them any more than others. I might have understood it if He had chosen to gather about Him the wisest men in the world, and the choicest spirits in each generation, and had said to them, "Come to Me, you Solomons, you philosophers, you great thinkers." But He did not talk so.
It seems strange that He should choose such company as He did, and be so anxious to bring to Himself, first, those who labor—you hard-working men, you sons of toil and especially you who are laboring hard to obtain salvation, but who will never gain it in that way—He invites you to come to Him! You who are heavy laden, too—you who, in your laboring for salvation, have been burdened with ceremonies—burdened by the work-mongers who tell you to do this and to do that in order that you may be saved. You whose poor, heavy hearts have been made heavier than they were before because you have had a false gospel preached to you—it is you whom Jesus calls to come to Him! You who are sad, and sick, and sorry—you who would gladly be delivered from sin and all its consequences—you are poor company for anyone. Your friends think you melancholy and they shun your society as much as possible. Your serious conversation has no attractions for them. You get away, alone, and keep silent, and the tears oftentimes steal unbidden down your cheeks—yet Jesus calls you and He says to you—"Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden."
He is Himself pure yet He is anxious to call to Himself the impure! He never sinned, yet He spent most of His time on earth with publicans and sinners and He still seeks the sinful! Even harlots were never spurned by Him, but they drew near to Him and were delighted to hear Him speak of piety and mercy and Grace for the very chief of sinners. "That was a strange taste," you say. But as the magnet seeks the steel, so does my Master, in His magnetic and magnificent mercy, search out those who most need Him. Not you whole ones does the Great Physician seek—it is the sick whom He invites to come to Him! Not you good people who hope to enter Heaven by your own works, does He call, but you sinful ones! "In due time Christ died for the ungodly." It is sinners whom He calls to come to Him! Yes, and those sinners who fail in all their attempts at improvement—those who labor to get better, yet who are not better, but are burdened more and more with the despairing fear that they must ultimately be lost—it is such as these whom Jesus invites to come to Him! Oh, hear this, you laboring ones and you who are heavy laden! The Lord of Glory cries to sinful worms of the dust and beseeches them to come to Him that He may give them rest!
It is the ignorant whom He invites to come to Him, that He may teach them. It is those who have need of a Lord and Master whom He bids to come to Him—the rebellious and the self-willed—that He may put His easy yoke upon their shoulders. It is the weary and the restless whom He calls to come to Him that He may give them rest! Are any of you troubled? Then come to Jesus and so end your trouble! Are you sick or sad? Come to Christ and so lose your sadness! It is for this very purpose that my Master bids me stand here and, in His name, as though He spoke the words Himself, cry to you, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ' III. Now, thirdly, let us enquire—WHAT CAUSES THIS DESIRE OF CHRIST AFTER SUCH PERSONS?
I hope I am speaking very personally to a great many people who are here. I would like to feel as if I had a firm yet tender grip of the hand of every unconverted person present, or that I were able to "buttonhole" everyone here who has not yet, by faith, laid hold on Christ. Well, dear Friend, possibly you think that you do not want Christ, but He wants you. Now, why can He want you? It cannot be because He will get anything out of you. What are you worth to Him at your best? What necessity can He have for you? If He were hungry, He would not tell you, for the cattle on a thousand hills are His! All things are His—the whole earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.
He wants you, for your own sake, to do you good—not to get anything good out of you! He does not want you because He sees some excellence in you. If you really know yourself, you know that you have none. All that is naturally good about you is marred in many ways and you know that it is so. Jesus does not love you because He sees anything lovable in you, but out of pure pity. Nor does He want you because of anything you ever will be or do, for if your zeal could know no respite, if you could labor on for Him throughout a life as long as that of Methuselah, yet would you still be to Him an unprofitable servant, doing no more than you ought to have done! I confess, concerning myself, that my blessed Master took me into His service of His own free Sovereign Grace, and He has helped me to do my best for Him. But I make this frank confession to Him and to you—that I was never worth my keep to Him. I have cost Him infinitely more than I have ever been able to bring to Him. Even when I have done my best, I have often been to Him such a servant as a man might be glad to see the back of because he was no profit to his master whatever. So it is not with any view of getting anything out of us that Jesus is so hungry after the souls of men!
Why, then, does He want us? He wants us, first, because He loves our race. He has a special affection for men, for, verily, He took not up angels when they fell. He left the fallen spirits in their ruined state—and it is eternal—but He took up the seed of Abraham. He was found in fashion as a Man, and He came to seek and to save lost men. I know not if there are any other fallen beings in yonder rolling worlds that we call stars, but this I know, that Christ's "delights were with the sons of men." "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
Another reason why He cries to men to come unto Him is, (wonder of wonders, and mystery of mysteries) because He is Himself a Man, the Son of Mary as truly as He was the Son of God. He is the great model Man, the pattern of what mankind ought to be and, therefore, standing in the midst of those whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren, He looks out of His Church and He cries to other men outside as yet, and He says to them, also, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! I am also a Man and I know your struggles, and infirmities, and griefs—yes, I have even tasted of the gall and wormwood that you deserved to drink as a punishment for your sins. Come unto Me! Come unto Me, for I will lead you upward to perfection and to everlasting life and Glory." It is a man's voice that speaks, albeit that it is also Divine.
Why, further, does Jesus say, "Come unto Me"? It is because He has done so much for men that He loves them for what He has done for them. I heard a story, only this last week, of a captain on board a vessel who had a cabin boy whom he treated very roughly and to whom he scarcely spoke without an oath. But one day the boy fell overboard and the captain, who had a kind heart beneath a rough exterior, sprang into the sea and rescued him from drowning. The next time a gentleman who had noticed his ill conduct to the lad, was on board the vessel, he observed him speak to the boy very gently and almost affectionately—and he could not help saying to him, "Captain, you seem to speak to that boy very differently from what you used to do." "Look here, Sir," he replied, "that boy fell overboard and I saved his life. And afterwards I took to him wonderfully, and I have loved him almost as if he were my own son ever since," Oh, yes, if you do a good turn to a person, you are sure to love him afterwards! Now, one reason why our Lord Jesus Christ loves sinners so much is because He died to save them and, therefore, He still stands and cries, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me. Have I not loved you? Have I not proved My love upon the accursed tree?" Do you wonder, therefore, that He still says, "Come unto Me"?
He who thus stands and pleads with men, delights to do yet more and more for them. It is Christ's Nature to scatter blessings wherever He goes. When a man can act according to his nature, he is sure to be pleased. A large-hearted man is never so happy as when he is doing good to others. When a man of a tender spirit is looking after the poor, the needy, the sorrowing and the suffering, he cannot help being happy because he is doing good to them. So is it with my Master and His blessed service on your account. You are nothing in yourselves and you cannot do Him any good—He is too great to need anything from you—yet He cries after you because He wants to do you good. He is a Physician, so He wants to heal you. He is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother, so He wants to befriend you. He is the one and only Savior, so He delights to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. Heaven itself could not continue to hold Him when men were lost and needed Him to come to earth to save them! It would not have been Heaven to Him had He been always shut up there. No, He must seek and save the lost! His great heart could not be happy until that glorious work was accomplished.
We know some generous men, of whom it is said that they are never so happy as when they are giving their money away. If you know where they live, I advise you to go and take it—everybody thinks that it is common sense to do so. And when Jesus is so happy in distributing the riches of His mercy and His love, I pray you to go and take from Him all that He is willing to give! You will be happy in receiving, but He will be happier still in giving, for even to Him "it is more blessed to give than to receive" and He still rejoices more over those who come to Him than the coming ones themselves rejoice!
I will tell you, sorrowfully and solemnly, one reason why Jesus wants you to come to Him. It is because He knows what must become of you if you do not come. No man in this world knows what the wrath of God is, nor how terrible are the flames of Hell. But Jesus knows all about them, for He was the Creator even of the dreadful place of torment. He also knew something of the agony of the lost when He cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" And though He is now reigning in His Gory, He remembers well when His soul drank the wormwood and the gall—and suffered on behalf of guilty sinners—the fierceness of the wrath of God! He would not have you feel that unquenchable fire, or that undying worm, or cry in vain for a drop of water to cool your burning tongue, for He is full of pity and, therefore, He warns you to flee from the wrath to come!
Have you not, sometimes, when a wreck was just outside the harbor and the waves were washing over it, known men ready to give all they had to anyone who could save the poor sailors who could be seen clinging to the masts? "Go, my brave fellows," someone has cried, "take my purse—all that is in it is yours if you will but risk your lives to save those perishing men out yonder!" Why, I have known a crowd gather on the beach when a wreck has been driven ashore, and the seamen were in imminent peril, and all the onlookers seemed frantic together. Men and women would all have given all they had if it could be the means of saving the lives of their fellow creatures. And our Lord Jesus, as He sees some of you drifting away on the wreckage that will so soon all go down and be engulfed in the fiery sea, cries to you—for He knows there is no other hope for you—"Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me!" You may think that it is a trifling thing for your soul to be damned, but Jesus knows better. You may scoff over the very brink of the Pit, but Jesus knows what an awful doom that pit contains! Oh, how I wish that every unrepentant one here would listen to those tender tones, so oft repeated, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me!" I wish my face could shine like the face of Jesus did. I wish I could have as sweet and silvery a voice as He had, that my tones could be as persuasive as were His when He said, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
I think, too, I may give you one other reason why Jesus invites sinners to come to Him and that is, He knows what our bliss will be if we do come to Him. Our Lord Jesus Christ has always before His eyes the sight of Heaven, His Throne of Glory, the gates of pearl, the streets of gold and the walls and foundations of all manner of precious stones. His ears are constantly hearing the songs of angels and of the redeemed from among men and, as He looks on those blessed spirits round about Him, He thinks of those who will notcome to Him and He says, "If they live and die as they now are, they cannot enter here." There is but one door of salvation and Christ said, "I am the door." And He also said, "Come unto Me. I am the gate of paradise, I am the way to Heaven. Come unto Me."
There will come a day when all the sheep will pass under the hand of Him that counts them! Shall I then miss any of you into whose faces I have gazed, perhaps for a score of years? Will your name not be read out? You have heard the Gospel very attentively and you have even been an admiring hearer, but you are not yet a doer of the Word of God and if you remain only a hearer, you will not be among the redeemed in Glory! If you are not believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, your names will be left out when He reads the muster roll of His blood-washed people! It will be all in vain for you to lament, then—"My name not there? Did I hear rightly? Christ has reached the last name, but He has not called mine! Yet I was a hearer of the Word! I was at many revival services! I was often prayed for, yet my name has not been called. Oh, that I could cease to be! Would God I had never been born!" All such regrets shall be useless, then. Then shall a man seek death and shall not find it, as the Book of Revelation tells us—and he shall wring his hands in everlasting despair, to think that the glorious gift of immortality, which was meant to make him a peer with the angels, has been so misused by him that now he must be a comrade of the devils who are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the Great Day!
God grant, dear Hearers, that you may hear Christ say to you individually, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me" and that you may accept His gracious invitation—or else to His Heaven and His Glory you can never go.
You see, then, that the motives which led Christ to call men to come to Him were those of pity and affection. He could not bear to think of their perishing! Neither can those of His servants who are in the least degree like He. And why should you perish, Sirs? Why should you perish? I spoke to one, the other day, to whom I said, "Your brother is very anxious about your soul." He said, "I know he is." And then I said to him, "And so am I. I wish you were a believer in Jesus." And he answered me, "My time is not yet come." "No," I replied, " but God's time has, for He says, Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. Nowis the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation." I wish that if any here have such a notion as that in their minds, they would put it away from them, for the text does not say, "Wait." There is no text, except in the devils bible, that bids you delay! There is no command for you to lie at the pool. No, Christ's invitation is still, "Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me now! Come unto Me now!" That is Christ's one cry and, therefore, I reiterate it again and again—"Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me! Come unto Me now! Come unto Me now!" Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," and He means, "Come now."
IV. I will close when I have answered one other question, or, rather, when I have asked you to answer it. If Jesus bids us come to Him in this fashion, and for these reasons, WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE INVITATION?
I would say, first, He is in such awful earnest that we ought to be in earnest in listening to Him. Sirs, there are many of you who do not seem to believe that you must live forever, in raptures or in woes and, therefore, you sit, from day to day, taking your ease and caring nothing about your immortal souls. It seems as if it were a trifling thing to you whether you are with God or with His enemy—whether you would be lost or saved forever if you were now to die. Is it not strange that Christ should be in such earnest about you and yet that you should not be in earnest about yourselves? I could look at some of you till the hot tears forced themselves from my eyes, fearing lest you should be lost—yet no tears of penitence run down your cheeks, nor do you seem to care about your souls in the least!
I recollect, years ago, having several times befriended one of the basest men I ever knew. I had helped him till, at last, I said that I would do no more for him, so extraordinary had been his wickedness. One day, wet through and through from a drenching shower, he stood at my gate and I had to break my promise and help him yet again. After a little while, he came again, but I refused to help him, for nothing could be done with him. My wife saw him standing in rags of the most wretched kind and she surprised me greatly when she said, bursting into tears and almost screaming, "O you poor lost soul! You poor lost soul, how can you act as you have done? We have clothed you and you have gone away and sold the garments we gave you, and the very shoes from your feet. We have picked you up from the gutter and taken you, when you have come out of prison, and helped you again and again. You poor lost soul," she said, "you had a mother, and she was a gracious woman. You had a father, and he is in Heaven, and we will help you once more, though I fear it will be no good, you poor lost soul." Yet all the while, he never shed a tear—there seemed to be no impression made upon him at all. I felt, after that, there was no hope for him, if that did not touch him when she, who was no relation of his, stood there and wept as if she would faint—and when I was moved with pity, too.
But he was not moved. Reason, thought, manliness—all appeared to have left him and he was little, if anything, better than a brute beast. In many respects, he was worse than the beasts that perish. Oh, shall it be so, my Hearers, that other people shall care about you and yet you will not care about yourselves? Remember that it is your own souls that are in peril! Whether you get to Heaven, or not, will not affect the eternal happiness of any one of us who have believed in Jesus! Yet I can truly say, with the Apostle, "I could wish myself accursed in your stead, if I could but save you." This thought has often crossed my mind—if any dire affliction could but save your souls, I would gladly endure it! And will you never think about your own souls? Must Jesus continue to cry, "Come! Come! Come! Come," and yet you will not come? Choked with His tears, must He break down in saying, "Come! Come! Come" and yet will you never think about your own souls? Oh, by the solemn earnestness of the Christ of God—and I might add, by the earnestness of His poor servant, who is speaking to you now—be at least a little concerned about this all-important matter and begin to think it over now!
Now, as Christ says to us, "Come unto Me," let us come unto Him. We are great sinners, so let us come unto Him, for He will freely forgive us if we come to Him. We have often treated Him ill, but let us come to Him, for He will not upbraid us, but will welcome us! We feel so heavy, but let us come to Him. We do not feel as heavy as we should, but let us come to Him with all our load of sin and sorrow and just leave our case in His hands, for that is what He wants us to do.
Let us, each one, say to Him, "Jesus, Master, I trust You to save Me. I will follow You. I will be Your disciple. I will take Your yoke upon me and wear it for Your sake if you will only save me." You are saved when you have reached that point—that is, when you come to Him and trust Him. That is the point, trust Him. Rely upon Him, lean upon Him, depend upon Him. Trust His blood to cleanse you, His righteousness to clothe you, Himself to keep you. Have done with yourself and begin with Him—that is all.
Listen! He is still gently whispering "Come! Come! Come!" Linger no longer. Come away, my Brother, my Sister. Hesitate not, poor doubter. Come along—it is the voice of Jesus that calls you! Come just as you are! Tarry not to amend or cleanse yourself, but come to Him to do it all! He has said, "Him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." God help you to come even now, for His dear Sons sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: MATTHEW11:25-30.
Verses 25, 26. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord ofHeaven and earth, because You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Your sight. "Jesus answered"—Sovereign Grace is the answer to abounding guilt. With rejoicing spirit Jesus sees how Sovereign Grace meets the unreasonableness of human sin and chooses out its own according to the good pleasure of the Father's will. Here is the spirit in which to regard the electing Grace of God—"I thank You." It is cause for deepest gratitude. Here is the Author of election—"O Father." It is the Father who makes the choice and reveals the blessings. Here is His right to act as He does—He is "Lord of Heaven and earth." Who shall question the good pleasure of His will? Here we see the objects of election, under both aspects—the chosen and the passed-over. Babes see because sacred Truths of God are revealed to them, and not otherwise. They are weak and inexperienced. They are simple and unsophisticated. They can cling, trust, cry and love—and to such the Lord opens up the treasures of Wisdom! The objects of Divine Choice are such as these. Lord, let me be one among them! The Truths of the heavenly Kingdom are hid by a judicial act of God from men who, in their own esteem, are "the wise and prudent." They cannot see because they trust their own dim light and will not accept the Light of God. Here we see, also, the reason of election, the Divine Will—"So it seemed good in Your sight." We can go no further than this. The choice seemed good to Him who never errs and, therefore, it isgood. This stands to the children of God as the reason which is above all reason. Deus vultis enough for us! If God wills it, so it must be, and so it oughtto be.
27. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomever the Son will reveal Him. Here we have the channel through which electing love works towards men—"All things are delivered unto Me of My Father." All things are put into the Mediator's hands—fit hands both towards God and towards man—for He alone knows both to perfection. Jesus reveals the Father to the babes whom He has chosen. Only the Father can fill the Son with benediction and only through the Son can that benediction flow to any of the race of men. Know Christ and you know the Father—and know that the Father Himself loves you. There is no other way of knowing the Father but through the Son. In this our Lord rejoiced, for His office of Mediator is dear to Him and He loves to be the way of communication between the Father whom He loves, and the people whom He loves for the Father's sake. Observe the intimate fellowship between the Father and the Son and how they know each Other as none else ever can. Oh, to see all things in Jesus by the Father's appointment and so to find the Father's love and Grace in finding Christ! My Soul, there are great mysteries here! Enjoy what you cannot explain.
28. Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest Here is the gracious invitation of the Gospel in which the Savior's tears and smiles were blended, as in a Covenant rainbow of promise. "Come," He drives none away. He calls them to Himself. His favorite word is, "Come." Not—go to Moses, but, "Come to Me." To Jesus Himself we must come by a personal trust. Not to doctrine, ordinance, or ministry are we to first come, but to the personal Savior. All laboring and laden ones may come—He does not limit the call to the spiritually laboring, but every working and wearied one is called! It is well to give the largest sense to all that Mercy speaks. Jesus calls Me. Jesus promises "rest" as His gift. His immediate, personal, effectual rest He freely gives to all who come to Him by faith. To come to Him is the first step and He entreats us to take it. In Himself, as the great Sacrifice for sin, the conscience, the heart, the
understanding obtain complete rest. When we have obtained the rest He gives, we shall be ready to hear of a further rest which we find.
29, 30. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. "Take My yoke and learn." This is the second instruction. It brings with it a further rest which we "find." The first rest He gives through His death. The second we find in copying His life. This is no correction of the former statement, but an addition. First, we rest by faith in Jesus and next we rest through obedience to Him. Rest from fear is followed by rest from the turbulence of inward passion and the drudgery of self. We are not only to bear a yoke, but His yoke—and we are not only to submit to it when it is laid upon us—but we are to take it upon us. We are to be workers and take His yoke and, at the same time, we are to be scholars and learn from Him as our Teacher.
We are to learn of Christ and also to learn Christ. He is both Teacher and Lesson. His gentleness of heart fits Him to teach, to be the Illustration of His own teaching and to work in us His great design. If we can become as He is, we shall rest as He does. We shall not only rest from the guilt of sin—this He gives us—but we shall rest in the peace of holiness which we find through obedience to Him. It is the heart which makes or mars the rest of the man. Lord, make us "lowly in heart," and we shall be restful of heart. "Take My yoke." The yoke in which we draw with Christ must be a happy one and the burden which we carry for Him is a blessed one. We rest in the fullest sense when we serve, if Jesus is the Master. We are unloaded by bearing His burden. We are rested by running on His errands. "Come unto Me," is thus a Divine prescription, curing our ills by the pardon of sin through our Lord's Sacrifice and causing us the greatest peace by sanctifying us to His service.
Oh, for Grace to be always coming to Jesus and to be constantly inviting others to do the same! Always free, yet always bearing His yoke! Always having the rest once given, yet always finding more—this is the experience of those who come to Jesus always and for everything. Blessed heritage—and it is ours if we are really His!
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