|Matthew 11 |
1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished commanding his twelve disciples, that he departed from there to teach and to preach in the cities of Galilee.
2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3 And they asked him, "Are you he who was to come, or do we look for another?"
4 Then Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 And blessed is he who is not offended by me."
7 Then as they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 What did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.'
11 Truly I say to you, among those who are born of women there has not risen a greater one than John the Baptist; yet he who is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven is forcibly entered, and forceful men lay hold of it.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if you will receive it, John is Elijah, who was to come.
15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the markets, and calling to their fellows,
17 And saying, 'We have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you have not mourned.'
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'
19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold a gluttonous man and a wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is justified by her children."
20 Then he began to upbraid the cities in which most of his mighty works were done, because they did not repent.
21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And you, Capernaum, who thinks to have exalted yourselves to heaven, you shall be brought down to hell. For if the mighty works which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."
25 At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent1, and have revealed them to babes.
26 Even so, Father, for it seemed good in your sight.
27 All things are delivered to me by my Father; and no man knows the Son but the Father, neither does any man know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal him. [The Father and the Son are only known through revelation: by the son revealing him for the Son and the Father are one Spirit. You do not know God or Jesus by studying the Bible or attending sect meetings. From the Word of the Lord within: "Christianity has no idea who I am or what I stand for. They are a clueless, fruitless people. They have missed the mark. Do you know him or just pretend to know him; to know him is to have met him and listened to him. Seek the meeting. The way is clear: listen and obey." ]
28 Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.2 [Come — not to sect services that claim He is in their building, not to prayer meetings, not to altar calls, not to read the Bible; Jesus even said that studying the scriptures is not coming to Him. John 5:39-40. We must go directly to Him, by sitting in humble silence as we wait on Him, listening for His voiced commands and teachings. Come all of you who labor against sin, all who are heavy burdened with your sins, and He will destroy the sins in your heart; and then you will be at rest.]
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and [then] you will find rest for your souls.3 [Learn from Him directly speaking to you, not reading about Him, or listening to other people talk about Him. The rest is to cease from your own dead works to then be completely directed by the Lord in what to do and what to say. But Christianity is at rest from guilt of their continued sinning, licensed by their false, so-called grace; so, "Arise and depart, for this is not the rest. Because it is defiled, it shall destroy you, even with a grievous destruction." Mic 2:10.]
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." [His yoke is to follow His commands to deny ungodliness and wordily lusts; to obey His teachings on how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; and eventually to think, speak, and act under His guidance in union with Him, which is to rest from your own works and thoughts, in peace doing His works with His provided energy to do them — the rest.]
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent. The meaning in His words is hidden from those who think they are wise and intelligent, who think they can see, who think they are already righteous. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because by their seeing [natural seeing] they do not see [spiritually]; and hearing [naturally] they do not hear [spiritually], neither do they understand. Mat 13:13. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32. I have come into the world for judgment, that the blind might see; and that those who see might be made blind. John 9:39. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent." 1 Cor 1:19. Being intelligent does not hide the truth from you, unless you have pride in your intelligence that prevents you from seeking to understand His parables, which comes by seeking God, whose Light and Word, Jesus Christ, is within you, patiently waiting to teach you.
From the Word of the Lord within: "I work with the blind; but if you think you can see, and you are not with me in heaven, I will make you a laughingstock."
2 Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened; Come — not to sect services that claim He is there, not to prayer meetings, not to altar calls, not to read the Bible — but directly to him, by silently waiting on him, listening for his voiced commands and teachings. Come all of you who labor against sin; all of you who are heavy burdened with your sins. (Blessed are those who know they are poor in Holy Spirit; Blessed are those who mourn under their burden of sin.) The order, (not just to the Jews then, but to all of us who suffer with our sins) is to come to me and learn from me. Jesus even said that studying the scriptures is not coming to Him so that you might have eternal life. John 5:39-40. So how? You must go to him. You must wait on him — listen in humble silence in need of his purifying power — grace. Wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Do this persistently, staying obedient to all the commands you are told to do, and you will experience all the promises of God, including the rest.
I will give you rest, So that we enter what rest? To cease from your own labors. To cease even from your own thoughts. Since the carnal mind is enmity with God and cannot be subject to the law of God, it must be destroyed by the Spirit through the inward cross of self-denial and replaced with the mind of Christ, supplying the thoughts, all words to be spoken, and all deeds to be done. So that we bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:5. So that we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:16. So you can strip yourselves of your former nature that controlled your conduct, which corrupts itself through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:22-24
When the carnal mind is destroyed, man's thoughts and labors cease; he enters into the rest of God, with God supplying the power and energy, direction, promptings, and knowledge. Man no longer works for his food. The restored man's works are powered and prompted by the Spirit of God:
This is the rest with which you cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear. Isa 28:12
Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it. Heb 4:1
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and [then] you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:29
For he who has entered His rest, has also ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Heb 4:10
George Fox described the Sabbath rest of the Christian, being a rest into Christ Jesus, saying: "Think not your own thoughts, for in Christ we are atop that nature where evil thoughts are, that nature [having been] taken away by Christ. So you should not think your own thoughts, do your own works, [or] speak your own words." The blood of Jesus is sprinkled on your conscience to purge you of dead works, (your own will's works), so that you do works prompted by and energized by God. This blood is to be witnessed, (as in experienced); it is one of the three witnesses on earth.
Jesus said: Which of you by taking thought can add one moment to his life? Mat 6:27. Until Jesus Christ controls our words, actions, and thoughts, He is not our Lord — we can call him Lord, but that doesn't mean He rules us as our Lord, or that we obey Him as his servant. Remember Jesus said: Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34. If we are a slave to sin, He can't be our Lord and Master because a man cannot serve two masters; he must hate one, to serve the other.
This rest is like the Sabbath rest, a mere shadow of the Christian's glorious rest, which Hebrews severely warns us against failing to enter: Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it. Heb 4:1. This rest is what Jesus promised: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and [then] you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:29. This is the rest with which you cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear. Isa 28:12. This is a serious warning to all who call themselves Christians: to avoid losing your soul and being banned from heaven, as the Jews were killed in the desert and banned from entering the promise land because of unbelief in God's promises, you must zealously labor in faith to attain the promised rest of the spiritual Sabbath, which is union with God and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, within you and around you.
We sit down with Christ in the heavens to enter the rest, to enter the rest from fighting our enemies; like Israel entered the rest from fighting and purging their land of the surrounding heathen peoples. Only our enemies are spiritual: lust, rage, pride, selfishness, envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, profane language, and evil thoughts, etc. Salvation is to be delivered from sin and be protected from evil, (sanctified), from our enemies of sin. But you who would be a Christian and to be freed from sin — you must believe in, hope for, and strive to realize God's promise to set the captives free, to become free of sin; otherwise, you too will perish in the spiritual wilderness without ever entering the promise land — heaven. Don't be like the Jews who said they could not conquer the giants and refused to cross the Jordan to do battle, even with God fighting for them; don't say sin can't be conquered, even with God's promised help; don't say who is able to make war with the beast? Because victory over sin, our enemies within our heart, is the promised salvation.
That he would grant to us,
that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-5
3 Take my yoke upon you.
What yoke? It is the yoke of following His spoken words in obedient love, and the humility of learning, which requires persistent and patience waiting in humble silence as you listen for his voice — which your brain does not want to do and will tell you that you are wasting your time; but do not be discouraged if you don't hear for some time. Even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. Psalms 33:22. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him. Isa 64:4
You will eventually hear; and when you do, you will be thrilled. Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Proverbs 8:34, Luke 11:28
To sit quietly, struggling with your mind to listen, is a cross to your will; to obey is a cross to your will — denying your will, and yielding to thy will be done — this is the inward cross of self-denial. Do this, and you are following Jesus; to follow Jesus is to obey Him. His burden is light, his yoke is easy, with no blood loss like his.
and learn from me;
From the Word of the Lord within: "It is your responsibility to learn." Learn from Him directly speaking to you, not reading about Him or listening to other people talk about Him.
It is hard for you to believe, but the only reason you are here is to find God by Him teaching you the lessons of life: in particular, what is the depths of difference between love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, turmoil vs. peace, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, bitter vs. sweet. The more we learn about evil, sin, and lust, the more we are drawn to God and his ways. The Lord has given each man a teacher within him to guide him and make him wise, so that he can pass from the earth wise. If a man learns completely, he will be changed to become righteous, good, holy, and pure like God; and then enter the Kingdom while still on earth to then be there forever.
We must pass from this earth wise, else we must learn the hard way, in the next life, (See Is There Hope for All for more); the choice of where to learn is everyone's to make for themselves. God is in us, eager to teach all things, if we will be quiet, listen, and obey; but eventually the scripture will be fulfilled: they shall all be taught by God. John 6:45
The only way you can learn the necessary truth to pass from this earth wise is by going to Him and receiving His teachings. Anything you do, which distracts you from this goal, is to be eternally regretted, (I'm not talking of eternal torture, but of a great regret that you didn't use your time to eternal profit). From the Word of the Lord within: "Everyone needs a Lord, that to teach him. God is the humble servant of all; he teaches. Millions have received revelations over the centuries. Millions are learning. You must learn to save your soul. Learn from me. The Spirit teaches by grace."
We all need to be taught by the Holy Spirit, all truth, all things, with the need of no man to teach us:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is advantageous for you that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong [reprove] of sin, and righteousness, and judgment.
Of sin, because they do not believe in me.
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more.
Of judgment, because the prince of this world has been condemned. John 16:7-11
However, when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he shall not speak of himself, but he shall only speak what he hears; and he will show you things to come.
He shall glorify me; for he shall take from what is mine, and shall show it to you. John 16:13-14
But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit and whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance — whatever I have said to you. John 14:26
You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 1 John 2:20
But the anointing that you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need any man to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:27.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life-giving. John 6:63
So keep listening for the one Teacher. To sit at Jesus' feet and listen to his word is the one thing needed by any who wish to experience the promises of the Bible, including salvation:
Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain village, and a woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.
Now Martha was distracted with much serving, and came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her that she should help me."
But Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.
There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42.
Jesus was not reading scriptures to Mary, he was speaking to her; we must hear him speak to us too: for the words I speak to you are spirit and they are life-giving. John 6:63. We must go to him. We must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. We must listen, hear, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. Daily we must wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. We must endure to the end, when we see Christ bring our salvation.
Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3
for I am meek and lowly in heart,
To be meek is to have an evenness without emotional ups and downs. Jesus is totally level, always under perfect self-control; His voice is always the same temperament, only occasionally reflecting more firmness. Jesus is humble and gentle beyond any man. He is kind, gentle, pure, easily understood, easily accepted, peaceable, complete, morally correct, encouraging — never with even a hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or condemnation — never upbraiding — never incomplete, leaving you guessing what he wants; instead His words are full of love itself — his spirit of Love — for he is Love. He will tell you things about Himself. He will encourage you. He is kindness. He will tell or show you things about yourself; some will be things that are ugly. But since he is your friend, you know that he is showing them to you for your own good. So you listen and watch. And you don't run; you stand before the Son of Man; and you repent of what he shows you. And sometimes he gives you commands, which if you believe Jesus, you obey. He is the Wisdom of God, and wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, fair, gentle, easily accepted, full of mercy and good fruits, immediately understood, and sincere. James 3:17. From the Word of the Lord within:
"Hear my wonderful words. I truly speak of love and how you are barbarous when taken under. Oh hear my words you mighty. Pursue sweet words of life. Listen to my voice so that you will hear all words. Hear and live; the Spirit gives life with every word heard. Live and be free. The Lord is gentle and kind to those whom He corrects, and even more than usual to those in suffering circumstances; for what cause have I against the elect?"
To be lowly is to be humble. In my listening for the Word of the Lord within, I have heard Him speak to me with such incredible humility that it overwhelmed me and left me in tears for some time. Those words are too personal and precious to repeat. May you experience the same.
and you will find rest for your souls,
The rest is to cease from your own works, done by your own will, cease your own plans, cease your own decisions, and instead to be directed by God to do His will on earth as in heaven, which works are then to His glory, which works are prompted by and energized by Him. We cease and rest from our own thoughts and dead works, to live according to God's supplied thoughts, words, and prompted works. From the Word of the Lord within:
"You are the slave of whom you choose; obey, or not interested? You are the children of whom you obey. You are the slaves of whom you obey. Every man must experience being a slave to God. When you are purged from dead works, you are freed from serving iniquity to serving God. Happy are they who serve God in His kingdom. To be a servant requires your mind to be made new. For servitude, every man must experience heart-felt desire; he must become totally different. We are followers."
Therefore let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, lest any man fall from the same kind of unbelief [and resulting disobedience] Heb 4:11. You cease from your own works to enter the rest simultaneously when you are delivered from your enemies, when you are freed from sin, when your salvation is brought to you by Jesus, when you see and witness salvation, the end of grace. The Christian's rest is glorious. Isa 11:10
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter