Matthew 11* Christ's preaching. (1) Christ's answer to John's disciples.(2-6) Christ's testimony to John the Baptist. (7-15) Theperverseness of the Jews. (16-24) The gospel revealed to thesimple. The heavy-laden invited. (25-30)1 Our Divine Redeemer never was weary of his labour of love;and we should not be weary of well-doing, for in due season weshall reap, if we faint not. 2-6 Some think that John sent this inquiry for his ownsatisfaction. Where there is true faith, yet there may be amixture of unbelief. The remaining unbelief of good men maysometimes, in an hour of temptation; call in question the mostimportant truths. But we hope that John's faith did not fail inthis matter, and that he only desired to have it strengthenedand confirmed. Others think that John sent his disciples toChrist for their satisfaction. Christ points them to what theyheard and saw. Christ's gracious condescensions and compassionsto the poor, show that it was he that should bring to the worldthe tender mercies of our God. Those things which men see andhear, if compared with the Scriptures, direct in what waysalvation is to be found. It is difficult to conquer prejudices,and dangerous not to conquer them; but those who believe inChrist, their faith will be found so much the more to praise,and honour, and glory. 7-15 What Christ said concerning John, was not only for hispraise, but for the people's profit. Those who attend on theword will be called to give an account of their improvements. Dowe think when the sermon is done, the care is over? No, then thegreatest of the care begins. John was a self-denying man, deadto all the pomps of the world and the pleasures of sense. Itbecomes people, in all their appearances, to be consistent withtheir character and their situation. John was a great and goodman, yet not perfect; therefore he came short of glorifiedsaints. The least in heaven knows more, loves more, and doesmore in praising God, and receives more from him, than thegreatest in this world. But by the kingdom of heaven here, israther to be understood the kingdom of grace, the gospeldispensation in its power and purity. What reason we have to bethankful that our lot is cast in the days of the kingdom ofheaven, under such advantages of light and love! Multitudes werewrought upon by the ministry of John, and became his disciples.And those strove for a place in this kingdom, that one wouldthink had no right nor title to it, and so seemed to beintruders. It shows us what fervency and zeal are required ofall. Self must be denied; the bent, the frame and temper of themind must be altered. Those who will have an interest in thegreat salvation, will have it upon any terms, and not think themhard, nor quit their hold without a blessing. The things of Godare of great and common concern. God requires no more from usthan the right use of the faculties he has given us. People areignorant, because they will not learn. 16-24 Christ reflects on the scribes and Pharisees, who had aproud conceit of themselves. He likens their behaviour tochildren's play, who being out of temper without reason, quarrelwith all the attempts of their fellows to please them, or to getthem to join in the plays for which they used to assemble. Thecavils of worldly men are often very trifling and show greatmalice. Something they have to urge against every one, howeverexcellent and holy. Christ, who was undefiled, and separate fromsinners, is here represented as in league with them, andpolluted by them. The most unspotted innocence will not alwaysbe a defence against reproach. Christ knew that the hearts ofthe Jews were more bitter and hardened against his miracles anddoctrines, than those of Tyre and Sidon would have been;therefore their condemnation would be the greater. The Lordexercises his almighty power, yet he punishes none more thanthey deserve, and never withholds the knowledge of the truthfrom those who long after it. 25-30 It becomes children to be grateful. When we come to Godas a Father, we must remember that he is Lord of heaven andearth, which obliges us to come to him with reverence as to thesovereign Lord of all; yet with confidence, as one able todefend us from evil, and to supply us with all good. Our blessedLord added a remarkable declaration, that the Father haddelivered into his hands all power, authority, and judgment. Weare indebted to Christ for all the revelation we have of God theFather's will and love, ever since Adam sinned. Our Saviour hasinvited all that labour and are heavy-laden, to come unto him.In some senses all men are so. Worldly men burden themselveswith fruitless cares for wealth and honours; the gay and thesensual labour in pursuit of pleasures; the slave of Satan andhis own lusts, is the merest drudge on earth. Those who labourto establish their own righteousness also labour in vain. Theconvinced sinner is heavy-laden with guilt and terror; and thetempted and afflicted believer has labours and burdens. Christinvites all to come to him for rest to their souls. He alonegives this invitation; men come to him, when, feeling theirguilt and misery, and believing his love and power to help, theyseek him in fervent prayer. Thus it is the duty and interest ofweary and heavy-laden sinners, to come to Jesus Christ. This isthe gospel call; Whoever will, let him come. All who thus comewill receive rest as Christ's gift, and obtain peace and comfortin their hearts. But in coming to him they must take his yoke,and submit to his authority. They must learn of him all things,as to their comfort and obedience. He accepts the willingservant, however imperfect the services. Here we may find restfor our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. Hiscommandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial,and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, evenin this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that islined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, sosuitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations tobe found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yokeof pleasantness. The way of duty is the way of rest. The truthsChrist teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon. Suchis the Redeemer's mercy; and why should the labouring andburdened sinner seek for rest from any other quarter? Let uscome to him daily, for deliverance from wrath and guilt, fromsin and Satan, from all our cares, fears, and sorrows. Butforced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavyburden. In vain do we draw near to Jesus with our lips, whilethe heart is far from him. Then come to Jesus to find rest foryour souls.
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