Stressed? Depressed? Burdened With Guilt? Please Consider…
The Savior’s Invitation
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
The above passage is commonly referred to as “The Savior’s Tender Invitation.” He extended the invitation during His earthly ministry, and it is still open to all today!
In this brochure we shall consider several questions related to this invitation. If you have never accepted Jesus’ invitation, hopefully you will do so after reading this. TO WHOM IS THE INVITATION GIVEN?
“All you who labor and are heavy laden” – First and foremost, to those burdened by the heavy weight of sin. Sin is a burden that separates one from God (Isa 59:1-2). It also has terrible side effects: lack of inner peace, anxiety, depression, fear, and doubt (Isa 48:22).
Rightly so, in view of the ultimate consequence of sin: spiritual death (Ro 6:23). This invitation, then, is for everyone, for all are sinners (Ro 3:23,10), and are in bondage to sin and its heavy burden (Jn 8:34).
Sadly, many are too proud to admit their burden – To admit they are sinners, enslaved by sin and its heavy weight, that they need Divine help to be freed from the burden of sin. If you are not too proud to admit you are a sinner, then “The Savior’s Tender Invitation” is especially for you! Perhaps you are wondering…
WHAT IS JESUS OFFERING?
“I will give you rest…you will find rest for your souls.” – Jesus offers rest for our souls! Souls burdened by the guilt of sin, which separates us from God (i.e., legal guilt), and also the side effects of sin, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and doubt (i.e., emotional guilt). Consider further what this rest offers:
Removal of the guilt of sin – By God’s love and grace, the forgiveness of sin is now possible through Jesus (Ro 5:8-9; 1Jn 4:9-10; Ep 1:7). Through His blood shed on the cross, Jesus frees us from the condemnation of sin (Ro 8:1). Removal of the side effects of sin – To have true rest for our souls, we need more than just forgiveness. For even those forgiven of sins may be plagued by the side effects of sin. Having lived so long under the burden of sin, it is not always easy to lay aside the feelings that often accompany sin (e.g., anxiety, fear, doubt).
To remove anxiety, Jesus offers peace to calm the troubled heart – It is peace unlike any the world might give (Jn 14:27), stronger
than any tribulation the world might bring (Jn 16:33), guarding our hearts and minds with a peace that “passes understanding” (Php 4:7).
To remove depression, Jesus offers joy to lift our troubled spirits – It is the same joy Jesus Himself had (Jn 15:11), a joy later described as “inexpressible” (1Pe 1:8).
To remove fear, Jesus offers love which casts out fear – It is a perfect love (1Jn 4:18), the same love which exists between the Father and the Son (Jn 15:9), a love that “passes knowledge” (Ep 3:19).
To remove doubt, Jesus offers hope to face the future – It is a hope that assures us of eternal life (Jn 11:25), promising eternal rest to those who die in the Lord (Re 14:13).
This has not exhausted all that pertains to the wonderful rest which Jesus offers, but it is:
• Rest from the burden of sin’s guilt, and rest from the burden of sin’s side effects!
• Rest for our burdened souls now, and rest for our souls when we die!
Incidentally, even physical burdens are made lighter by the rest Jesus offers, because the soul is made stronger to bear them! This all may sound wonderful, but…
WHAT DOES JESUS ASK IN RETURN?
“Come to Me…” – This is easy, for Jesus is “gentle and lowly in heart.” He is so gentle, children felt comfortable in His presence (Mt 18:2). He is so lowly in heart, the common
people heard Him gladly (Mk 12:37). As prophesied, Jesus is tender and sensitive to our needs (“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench” – Isa 42:3; Mt 12:20).
“Take My yoke upon you…” – In Jewish literature a ‘yoke’ represents the sum-total of obligations which, according to the teaching of the rabbis, a person must take upon himself (William Hendriksen). Jesus therefore expects those who desire His rest to accept His teachings and whatever obligations He would lay upon them.
“…And learn from Me.” – Through His words in the Bible we come to know the obligations He would place on us. We must listen to Him, and then do whatever He says (Lk 6:46-49).
In essence, “The Savior’s Tender Invitation” is a call to discipleship: to commit your life as a disciple (follower) of Jesus, willing to learn from Him and accepting whatever obligations He places upon you (i.e., “His yoke”). This might prompt one to ask…
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO ACCEPT?
Jesus taught that discipleship requires that we observe all that He commanded (Mt 28:18-20), and that we abide in His doctrine (Jn 8:31). But as Jesus stated in His invitation, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The apostle John, who was a disciple for over fifty years, wrote “His commandments are not grievous” (1Jn 5:3). In Christ there is strength from God to do His will (Php 2:12-13; 4:13).
Certainly whatever burden Jesus places on us is
lighter than the burden that sin lays on us!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you desire the rest for your soul that is offered in “The Savior’s Invitation”? Then come to Jesus in full obedience to His gospel! Commit to becoming His disciple, learning and doing all the things all that He commanded!
According to Mt 28:19-20 and Mk 16:15-16, such discipleship begins with baptism, for when penitent believers are baptized they:
• Receive remission of sins (Ac 2:36; 22:16)
• Put on Christ (Ga 3:27)
• Rise to walk in newness of life (Ro 6:3-4)
As one rises from the watery grave of baptism, they are freed from the burden of sin through the precious blood of Christ (Ep 1:7). As they continue to observe all that He commanded, their burden becomes ever lighter as they apply to their lives the wisdom Jesus taught.
Have you accepted the yoke of Jesus? Are you living under His yoke? If you desire to study these things further, or to be baptized into Christ today, let us know!