An Invitation from Jesus

Apr 03, 2022

An Invitation from Jesus

Passage: Matthew 11:25-30

Preacher: Jeff Crotts

Series: Matthew: We Need a King

Category: Sunday Morning



  • Jesus offers grace.
    • Grace is free but comes with one qualification.


  • Grace comes through Faith.
    • Jesus defines saving faith.
    • Jesus describes how you exercise saving faith.


  • This great divide between children under judgment who are “this generation” – like middle schoolers (v. 16) verses “little children” (v. 25) who are open to receive grace.


  • The difference between being a child of “this generation” and a child of God cannot be wider.


 2. Our generation’s only hope is to become God’s child (vv. 25-30)

      a. Salvation is always by an act of sovereign grace

           i. According to the Father’s will (vv. 25-26)

Verse 25 shifts from horizontal to vertical communication.

  • Jesus seamlessly moves from preaching to praying.
    • Addressing the masses to addressing his Father.
      • A natural shift every true Christian can make.
      • Holy Spirit intercedes and opens a “like-heavenly communication.”


  • Jesus’ word choice explains why people believe and why people do not.


  • Window into God’s sovereignty over salvation.
    • Jesus uses a word full of meaning unlocking God’s sovereignty.


  • This begins with prayer.
    • How you pray for people’s salvation explains what you may or may not understand about Sovereignty in Salvation.


  • The word [Ἐξομολογοῦμαί (Mat 11:25 GNT)] is from the root, homologew.
    • Translated, “I thank you.”
    • More fully means, “saying the same thing that his Father already knows to be true.”
    • Used for “confess” (1 Jn. 1:9).


  • When you understand God is ruling over every detail, it is tempting to ask:
    • “Why pray at all?”
    • “Since God is going to do what he is going to do?”
      • Prayer, not first and foremost, about you, it is about God.
      • Jesus , why he prays the way he does.


  • Prayer, will acknowledge the Lord’s sovereignty as the foundation.
    • Acknowledging what you and the Lord both know to be true.
    • About what is happening.


  • “If this is the case, why pray?”
    • God’s glory!
      • When your heart and words synchronize with God’s will, you join in what the Lord is doing.
      • Asking, seeking, and knocking on the right door!


  • While praying, God conforms you to his will.
    • Displaying his power through direct answers.
    • For his glory.

 Lord’s approach in prayer submission.

  • Submission as second member of the Trinity.
    • Who is God the Father?
      • “Lord of heaven and earth” (v. 25)
        • Dominion over all of creation.
        • Over all things in heaven and in earth.


  • Lordship over all happenings.


  • Jesus applies his Father’s lordship to salvation.
    • His prerogative to either “hide” or “reveal” himself (cf. v. 25).
    • To whomever he wills.

 “How is this fair for God to be selective to whom he saves?” a better question might be to ask, “How is it that God would select anyone to save?”


  • Culture cries out for social justice to be made.
    • Agenda, less about reaching out.
      • Demanding, perceived rights.
      • You want what is fair.


  • When man is the standard, he cries, “We all deserve heaven!”
    • “How could it be any other way?”


  • When God is the standard, then he cries, “We all deserve instant Hell!” (cf. Is. 6).
    • Salvation comes when God - awakens believer from the dead.

 Heart dimension to whom God “hides” from and to whom he “reveals” himself to.

  • God hides saving grace from “the wise and understanding” (v. 25).
    • Rejecting a heart that says, “I’ve got this!”
    • “I’ve got a good understanding on what saves me!”


  • God is offput by this attitude.

 By contrast, God “reveals” himself to “little children.”

  • When God saves, he creates new birth.
    • He makes alive new creatures in Christ.
    • New children.


  • Jesus point, not why he calls them “little children” (v. 25).
    • Speaks to the mystery of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.
    • In Salvation!


  • God requires saving faith to save.
    • Always, faith of a child.
      • Saving faith, pictured by a “little child.”
      • Saving faith is total dependence.

ESV  Matthew 5:3-5 a"Blessed are bthe poor in spirit, for dtheirs is the kingdom of heaven.4 "Blessed are athose who mourn, for they shall be comforted.5 "Blessed are the ameek, for they ashall inherit the earth. 


  • Salvation is for people burdened by spiritually bankruptcy.
    • These dynamics?
      • God sovereignly selects.
      • He then reveals himself.
      • To those softened to receive him.
      • All coordinated by divine design.


  • Understanding these dynamics will strengthen your path in prayer.
    • You synchronize your prayers with God’s activity.
    • He is working and you are synchronizing!

Verse 26 points to God’s heart as Father, he relates by this title.

  • “Father,” mirrors Christ’s relationship to God as our relationship to God.
    • Father is the Christian name for God.
      • Jesus reveals God’s heart through these words.
      • When people come to God, as little children, God reveals himself to them.


  • Which is “Father[s]…gracious will” (v. 26).

[Eudokia] which is God’s “good will” or “good favor” or “good pleasure.”

  • God’s will is not robotic or mechanical. No!
    • God’s pleasure to save.
    • The Sovereignty of God and the Freewill of man.
    • Which is compatible.

           ii.Through the Son (v. 27)


Jesus builds into Father’s pleasure, citing his involvement when someone is saved.

  • Jesus takes us inside the fellowship of the Trinity.
    • No one is saved except by the Son.
      • Jesus proves the exclusive nature of coming only through him picturing the intimacy between the Father and the Son.
      • Same intimacy that a child of God shares.


  • Jesus’ intimacy is first reflected by his role as the Father’s subordinate.


  • No one would come to him unless his Father wills it to be.
    • He proves this in terms of how exclusive his relationship is with his Father.
    • Moving inside of his own relationship he says, “no one knows the Son except the Father” (v. 27).

 The same exclusivity shared by the Father to his Son is the same exclusivity you share when you come to your Father through his Son.

  • Salvation comes because the Father has given authority to His Son, to save you.


  • Salvation only comes through Christ.

ESV  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am athe way, and bthe truth, and cthe life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

BTW, the Trinity is the only perfect version of subordination and submission.

  • Unhealthy, abusive working, and family relationships.
    • Subordinate roles that are abusive, harmful, and often horrible.
    • The Bible nevertheless orders subordination and submission.
      • To unkind masters.
      • To unbelieving spouses.
        • Never morbid masochism.
        • Never in terms of where you or children will be harmed.


  • This contradicts the Bible’s guidance misconstruing: martyrdom, “Dying for the faith.”
    • You may be called to suffer, to die.
      • Not reckless bravado.
      • That would be a cult/suicide.
      • Radicalized Islam.


  • Jesus’ submission is 180 out from this.
    • Reason why is intimacy – btwn/Father and Son.
    • No one knows a human son like a human father.
      • Same way, yet this is perfect.
      • No one knows the Son, [on heaven’s scale] as his Father.


  • Likewise, a human son knows his human father like no one else.
    • Again betwn/Son and Father [on heaven’s scale].
    • On the scale of perfection.
      • The Son says, “and no one knows the Father except the Son…” (v. 27).
      • The treasure of intimacy.

Every marriage wants this; every friendship, every father to every son and so it goes.

  • Idealized on earth is only achievable in heaven.
    • This is for one reason.
    • In heaven there is no sin.
    • Sin is the single agent that wrecks relationships.


  • Reason people avoid people, not a personality difference.
    • It is “sin.”
      • People fight with people because of sin.
      • People “slap” people in anger, live on national TV bc/of “Sin.”


  • People long for companionship, to be understood, to be loved and the one thing that interrupts this is sin.

 Never has been an interruption of sin within the Trinity.


  • No sin in heaven no interruption of relationship in heaven.


  • When Jesus answered the Sadducees that “…they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven” (cf. Matt. 22:30).
    • Jesus, not espousing a lesser heaven.
    • Jesus speaks of perfect community.
    • Relationships that are incomparable.

Matthew 22, two verses earlier, explains why the Sadducees didn’t get it:

“You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Mt. 22:29).

  • Scripture tells us what this might be like.
    • We taste of this before heaven.
    • The Son, by divine prerogative “reveal” himself to those who will believe.


  • This was the case when Jesus revealed himself to Philip.

ESV  John 14:8-9 aPhilip said to him, "Lord, bshow us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?  (Joh 14:8-9 ESV)

 The dynamic version of what Jesus is describing.

  • We know God by looking into the face of Jesus.
    • Observing him through the Gospels.
    • Hearing his teaching, grows intimacy with Christ.
      • Imperfect intimacy because of our sin.
      • Only sin impedes fellowship between us and God.


  • Jesus has no sin, making our sole hindrance what lives in our hearts.

People sometimes abuse the doctrine of our union with Christ, like Francis Chan.

  • Espousing, the little god theology.
    • Healing whole villages by touch.
    • Applying what is meant for the Apostolic age.


  • Abuses of “Union” with Christ theology should not deter us from believing it!
    • Profound truth.
  • We are in Christ and Christ is in us.


  • Our fellowship, though not perfected, is a foretaste of heaven.

ESV  1 John 1:7-9 But aif we walk in the light, bas he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and cthe blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 aIf we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and bthe truth is not in us.

9 aIf we confess our sins, he is bfaithful and just to forgive us our sins and xto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:7-9 ESV)


 This is prologue for what comes next.


Verses 25-27 is behind heaven’s curtain; Verses 28-30 is out in the open air.


  • Many confused by the sovereignty of God.
    • To fully embrace the Lord’s control over someone’s salvation dismisses the salvation genuinely being offered to all.


  • God is God and God is the Savior.
    • Man needs this, Savior.
    • “Savior,” necessitates the need to be Saved.
      • Lifeguards save drowning victims.
      • This distinction means you cannot save yourself.


  • This makes no contradiction [What God and man does?] but is coalescence.


      b. Salvation comes by exercising faith (vv. 28-29)

           i. A general call to come to saving faith

Within three verses, Jesus calls the whole world to come and be saved.

  • Jesus’ sermon is to his immediate generation at the time (cf. v. 16).
    • A generation “acting like children” (“middle schoolers” cf. v. 16).
    • A generation called to come as “little children” (“infants” cf. v. 25).


  • Who is a candidate to “come?” Who will, “Come to Jesus?”
    • Those who see there is a load strapped to their backs.
    • “What is this load of ‘labor?’”


“What is this load where you are heavy laden?”

  • The guilt of sin where man trying to relieve his guilt by self-justification!


 There are two religions in the world – all the religions of the world that are works based – where someone tries to get out from under the pressure of guilt by “works-based” performance. RELIGION OF THE PHARISEES.

ESV  Matthew 23:4 aThey tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,1 and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. (Mat 23:4 ESV)

  • There is one other religion that is “grace-based.”
    • Someone admits they cannot save themselves.
      • They come to their end.
      • Finding themselves at the feet of Jesus.

The precious gift of saving grace that comes through saving faith.

  • The object of saving faith is Jesus.
    • Only One gives “rest” (v. 28).
    • Jesus.


  • You come to Christ, because you can admit you are “heavy laden” (v. 28).
    • Pressure, you have been bearing a long time.
    • You come to see that the only way out from under this load is Jesus.

Jesus promises you when you come - “rest” (v. 28).

  • “Refreshment” – out from under the guilt of your sin.
    • The joy of salvation.


 “Does this change the hardships in your life?”

  • Your circumstances, your health, your relationships?
    • No, and especially not immediately.
      • Saving faith may not change circumstances.
      • It does guarantee to change one thing.


  • Your heart!
    • You now see your circumstances through new eyes.
    • You now have hope to make it through them.

Consider, Theology of “rest.”

  • Back at the beginning.
    • “Rest” first mentioned on seventh day of creation.
      • Six literal days of creation.
      • On the seventh God rested.


  • Foreshadowing rest promised to believers in heaven.

ESV  Hebrews 4:1-4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem ato have failed to reach it.

2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because athey were not united by faith with those who listened.1

3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, a"As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: a"And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." (Heb 4:1-4 ESV)


ESV  Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for athe ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, band find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jer 6:16 ESV)


  • Matthew 12, opens up the meaning of the Sabbath.


Saving faith changes your heart.

  • Immediate implications for how you see your life.
    • Your outlook on your circumstances, your health, and your relationships, both good and bad.
    • Coming to Jesus in this regard, truly changes everything!


 “But what does it look like to exercise saving faith?” “I am not sure I am operating with Saving Faith!”

Jesus, in these next verses describes this exercise.

  1. A gracious description of saving faith

The command to “Take my yoke upon you” (v. 29) is a metaphor for making a great exchange.

  • Exchanging one yoke for another.
    • A works-yoke, for a grace yoke.
      • “Yoke” - A large piece of lumber strapped to the backs of labor animals like a horse, mule, or ox meant to place all the pressure on the shoulders as an animal, so it, by sheer force of will and muscle may exert itself to furrow a field.
      • Or drag a load.


  • If you have ever tried to dig up an unmovable root system, you immediately know the frustration that comes from trying to move what is immovable.


  • This is the spiritual experience lost in guilt.
    • Trying to work yourself right with God.
      • More, defeat of not being able to!
        • Guilt strapped to their backs.
        • Sheer force of will and muscle trying to drive forward.


  • You cannot make yourself right with God.

The yoke of Christ is following Christ, becoming his disciple.

  • Saving Faith is Following Christ!
    • The “Yoke of the Law” or “Works-Yoke” verses the “Yoke of discipleship” or “Grace-Yoke!
      • NO distinction made between obedience or no-obedience!
        • The “Works-Yoke” is heavy and insufferable.
        • The “Grace-Yoke” is light and Spirit-empowered.


  • It is obedience of self-righteousness verses following Christ to obey him.


  • Christ’s follower, a learner, or an understudy.
    • The yoke of Christ is the grace of becoming his “little child.”
    • Committing to sit at the feet of a new father.
      • Asking, “Will you love me and teach me.”
      • Asking, “How to say words, how to stand up, how to walk, how to engage others, how to feed yourself, and basically how to live a new life.”

“What kind of teacher is this new Father?”

  • A Father who is “gentle and lowly in heart” (v. 29).
    • When you trust Christ as Savior is more than leaving false religion.
      • Leaving self-righteousness.
      • Leaving your guilt.


  • No, you commit to One who loves you deeply.


  • He is “gentle and lowly in heart” meaning: he loves you in his heart.
    • You are inside of Jesus’ heart as his “little child” (v. 29).

It is easy to view your relationship in terms of your former yoke!

You came to Christ and when you did, he removed your first yoke and replaced it with a new one.

It was such an instant relief but when you eventually stumbled and regressed back into sin.

Instead of seeing your life under this new yoke (cf. Romans 6 “Consider yourself dead, and now Alive), you revert to thinking you are really still under the old yoke.

 Understanding the grace of Christ, his gentle and lowly heart toward you is why “…you will find rest for your souls” (v. 29).

  • Refreshment comes under the new yoke.


  • Grace - undeserved favor, of unlimited forgiveness.


  • Streams of mercy now strapped to your shoulders.


  • This yoke never leaves.

Your flesh may try to brush this yoke of grace off like an unruly horse trying to scrape its rider off brushing by a tree, but to no avail. No! This is the “yoke [that] is easy, and [a] burden [that] is light” (v. 30).

You say, “No such thing as a “burden [that] is light!” (v. 30).

  • True in terms of every other religious answer!


  • False religions keep the burden “Heavy down to Hell.


  • This is the only “light” burden because Jesus’ bore this burden on the Cross!

My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God my Savior has ransomed me and like a flood his mercy reigns unending love, amazing grace.  

We have been hearing Jesus preaching judgment and now he preaches grace.

What a contrast. “Has Jesus revealed himself to you?” -- “Will you come to him as his child?”

  • Shake off your old yoke and put on a new one. Leave your sins and leap into the Jesus’ everlasting arms.












This is Jesus’ social commentary on our society.  

  • It is not a welcomed message
  • It is divisive
  • You will make enemies


Generations provoke God’s judgment [Define how] (16-21)

God responds to provocation (vv. 22-30)

[How God responds to Generations (culture) act(s) like rebellious children (vv. 16-24)

(they) invite/provoke God’s judgment (vv. 16-20)

  1. Act like children
  2. Generations (reject reality) are out of touch with reality
    1. True Joy
    2. Real Sorrow
  3. Generations (reject revelation) out of touch with revelation
    1. Amount of revelation through miracles
    2. Amount of time by grace
    3. Jesus’ patience

Generations (they) are under God’s judgment (spiritual blindness) (vv. 21-24)

Generations must become little children can receive God’s grace (vv. 28-30)

God’ reveals himself to little children (v. 25)



  1. Rejecting John
  2. Rejecting Jesus


  1. Denunciations


  1. Grace



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