The Jesus I'm Getting to Know
Ben Hill
Matthew 11:25-30
October 28, 2017

Let's go to the Lord in prayer.

Lord we thank You that You are here in our midst as we gather together. I pray You would help the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, and that You would guide and direct this conversation about Your word and give us insight into who You are, and how we can love You more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Alright. First thing. At three o'clock this morning, I decided to change a few words in the title. So “The Jesus I Know” will be changed to “The Jesus I'm Getting to Know”, and I'll use that throughout the sermon. If I say “the Jesus I know” it's because I was originally going to preach that, but it seemed a little too haughty, I think. To claim that you know everything about Jesus, or you know him completely, would be heresy, right? Alright. So, let's get started here.

We come today to a feast. To feast on the Word of God. Since I'm a better cook than a preacher, I hope the analogy is helpful to you, as it is to me. I wanted to preach a “dessert message” this morning. You know what those are? All Jesus, all the time. Nice and pretty. Sweet things. A lemon meringue pie. And I wanted to present it, get it done, go on with my life. But God had different plans. So, God had me mix in to this message, which was going to be a dessert message, I had to put some beef stew in there. Some frozen peas. Salsa, and a couple bay leaves. And we'll see how it turns out in the end.

So let me explain. I had talked to a friend who's a non-Christian, and he said to me, “If I ever became a Christian, you would know it was true because I am so opposed to it.” You may hear that in the culture quite a bit these days. And so, I was going to tell my friend, you know, all these sweet things about Jesus. The dessert message, right? To try and get him to understand who Jesus is. That He is gentle and humble in heart. And I was going to say the Jesus I know is gentle and humble in heart. Then I would go on from there with statements to talk about great things about Jesus and His invitation to come to Him and be saved. Okay, so that was going to be the message for my friend.

And then as I was thinking about it more, and studying more, I rewound about a couple more earlier years in my life. I was talking to another one of my friends, and his, and his ideas stuck in my head, too. And it was, “I like the God of the New Testament better than the God of the Old Testament.” Interesting, huh?

And so these things have been rumbling around my head for many years, and so… Well, the second one, not the first one. The Old Testament was part of the – the way this is going. So let's see here.

As I was preparing the dessert message about Jesus and His goodness and sweetness, this other main course meal kept coming up. Beef stew. God and Jesus. Their interaction. Their plan. Sin, salvation, sanctification. It was all there in Matthew. So if you want to turn your Bibles to Matthew.

And just as coffee and celery actually go good together – they have good flavors together – I hope this message will be a similar mixture. It really does have good flavor together.

Matthew 11:25-30. Let's read the passage.

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.’”

And then the dessert part of the passage.

“‘Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’”

The Jesus who I'm getting to know praises His father in verse 25. Jesus had been going throughout the countryside healing the sick, performing many miraculous deeds. Signs and wonders. And some rejected Him, and some accepted Him. Jesus was doing the will of the Father, and letting the Father be in charge of the results. What other choice was there, right?

The people that rejected Him were the scholars and self-righteous of the day. They were those who were not willing to see Jesus as the fulfillment of the law and the One whom the prophets pointed to. The people who were willing to accept Jesus as the Messiah were willing to see Him as true Jesus. The Messiah, the Savior from sin and sin’s penalty.

So Jesus praises His Father. That's the first point there. The Jesus I'm getting to know praises His Father. And then the Jesus who I am getting to know senses God's pleasure. So there in verse 26: “Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure.” So Jesus senses God's pleasure.

What brings God joy? In revealing the true Jesus to the ones who were willing to accept, there was pleasure for God. In the Father's plan to reconcile man to himself, Jesus is on earth doing great signs and wonders. And some of them were accepting the revelation of Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God.

So the Jesus I'm getting to know also senses God's pleasure. And the Jesus I'm getting to know has all things handed over to Him by the Father. All things. Watch out!

Let's stick to these verses and not let our minds go too many theological directions, and let's follow these phrases here because it can be like a – I don't know – a theological black hole, I guess.

Verse 26, it says it was the good pleasure of the Father. It was God's pleasure to reveal. No one knows the Son except the Father. No one knows the Father except the Son. The only people who will know the Father – and here's the important part – is those whom Jesus chooses to reveal Him.

The “all things” in these verses seem to be leading to a divine knowledge. Completely knowing God. Completely knowing the Son. Completely knowing the Spirit. Completely knowing their connections, their interactions, their oneness, and their plans. So all knowledge was given over to Jesus by God the Father. Also, the authority to reveal Himself to those He wanted.

And so before we get into a debate about predestination, let's look at this whole prayer so far. This is like the meat part of the – this is like the main course part of the thing – so it's not very exciting, but anyway. The prayer is important to this invitation that comes along because it answers the question by whose authority can He make such an invitation.

Jesus is about to blow the minds of the people who were there, and claim that He supplanted – or not supplanted – but fulfilled the law. He was the one that the law and the prophets and everybody was pointing to. He is the Messiah. And so He's about ready to make this statement and so He needs to, before He does that, tell them by whose authority He's able to make these claims. And so, let's get to the invitation.

The Jesus I know – wait – the Jesus I'm getting to know chooses to reveal Himself to the weary and the burdened. The great invitation in Scripture. ”Come to me, all who are weary and burdened.” And to answer the predestination question? I think He reveals Himself to everybody, but it is the weary and burdened that actually see a need for Him. If that makes any sense. So unless you're weary and burdened, which comes from striving, having sin in your life, which through Romans we see that all have sinned. So when there's sin in your life, what do you do with it?

There's laws and regulations on the Jews, which was a yoke put on them, and Jesus is claiming to say, “Come to Me, not the yoke of the law.” You can't abide by it, but Jesus is claiming that He is the One who you can turn to, to deal with your sin.

So trying to appease a guilty conscience makes people weary and burdened. Trying to make up for past mistakes. Trying to gain a little better reputation. Trying to hide the pain in your heart when someone has hurt you. Lies that you believe about yourself and others, and lies we believe about God. All these things. Stress upon stress, weary and burden in our lives. What do we do with it?

All these things, and Jesus says, “Come to Me. I am the great physician. I am the wonderful counselor. I am the gentle shepherd, and I am the listener to and lover of your souls.” So Jesus is the one we come to when we are weary and burdened.

The Jesus I'm getting to know says He will give you rest. When we come to Him, He makes a promise to us that Ge will give us rest. Rest from the guilt of sin and a well-rounded peace in our conscience. Rest from the power of sin in the regular order for our soul. And rest in God.

Come to Jesus. He will give you rest.

The first time you come to Him it would be for salvation. Taking Him as your Savior. But as you go on in life, you will still be weary and burdened. And you can come back to Him as many times as you need to a day. In worship and surrender, with your burdens and weariness of life. And go on with your personal relationship with Jesus.

So that is the dessert portion. Now we're going to throw some peas and salsa into the mix.

The Jesus I'm getting to know says “take my yoke. It is easy and light, well-fitting, and good.”

This is a part of the message that really was hard for me. And I think it's because God had to work on my heart before I could talk about it, but I've been knowing I had this sermon for about three or four weeks, and I just couldn't come up with the words to say. Until yesterday, I still was having a hard time. And this morning, I finally came up with the words to say after I said a prayer of surrender to Him.

So this is how a believer supposed to live the rest of his life. Yoked to Jesus, walking step by step with Him. Accepting His yoke can be hard. A daily struggle to put my wants and desires down, accept His lordship.

It is the most beneficial and a rewarding way to live life. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it, and how to lead, and how to motivate us. So I encourage you, even though it might be hard, say yes to Jesus and take his yoke today.

And then we go on. The Jesus I'm getting to know wants to learn… from Him? Where is this?

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart.” So we need to learn from Him.

The Jesus I'm getting to know wants you to learn from Him. The only place in Scripture that Jesus states what is in His heart is right here.

Jesus said, “I am gentle, and I am humble.” Those are attractive attributes! It makes me want to draw near Him and learn what He would teach me. Even if there are mistakes and failings on my part, I think He would show me in a way that I would hear and follow. As I get into His Word I learn more and more about Him and about myself. Through His Word He humbly and gently teaches me His ways.

I encourage you. Learn from the gentle and humble teacher. Now you can understand why I said, this morning, not “the Jesus I know” but “the Jesus I'm getting to know”.

And then the Jesus I'm getting to know helps us find rest for our souls. God's presence and peace. His solace and strength. His company, His care, and comfort.

In Jeremiah 6:16 it says, “Thus saith the Lord. Stand by the ways, and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is. And walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls.” So Jesus is quoting an Old Testament prophecy. And there again He is saying, “I am the One that the prophets pointed to.”

So in conclusion (Pastor Steve's gonna love this, it's about 10 minutes early). [laughs]

In conclusion, it seems like we live in that “come to me, you will find your rest.” We never get to the other parts. The harder parts of life. The harder parts of discipleship. The harder parts of actually submitting to His will. And so it seems like it's a fast food, you know.

I just want some dessert today, God. You know? I don't want to have to chew on this other stuff. Life is a little hard right now. I don't have time for this. Can you just give me a, you know, Big Mac and a bunch of fries?

So we're in this fast-food mentality of our relationship with Jesus. We're only in the shallows. And so, to complete the cycle, God says three things here that we need to do.Not just, “Come to Me and find your rest”, but He says, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me."

So I encourage you to do that today.