Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XV: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen By The Opposition To His Ministry, Matthew 11:2-16:12
C. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Great Nurture Of The Oppressed
(Matthew 11:28-30)
  1. Introduction
    1. Matthew's Gospel reveals that Jesus is God's Messiah to Israel though He did not establish His Messianic Kingdom at His first coming because Israel rejected Him. (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV , 1978, p. 1337, "Introduction to the Gospel According to Matthew"; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 16)
    2. To validate Jesus' identity as Messiah regardless of His rejection by Israel, Matthew reveals how He still wonderfully cared for and nurtured the lowly to received Him opposite what a self-serving, false messiah would bother to want to do if he were rejected by the nation Israel like Jesus was rejected (as follows):
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Great Nurture Of The Oppressed, Matthew 11:28-30.
    1. Following His condemnation of the cities in Galilee that had not repented regardless of His many great miracles performed in them (Matthew 11:20-24), and after thanking God the Father for hiding His rich spiritual truths from the nation's faithless leaders while revealing those truths to spiritual infants like His disciples (Matthew 11:25-27), Jesus called the lowly and oppressed to find rest in Him, revealing some of the most beloved truths in the New Testament, Matthew 11:28-30; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Matthew 11:28-30.
    2. This is a remarkable call in such a context: unlike a false messiah who would not care about the oppressed who could not help to him set up an earthly kingdom if he was already rejected by mightier Hebrews, the rejected Jesus reached out in grace to the oppressed as God's truly righteous, gracious Messiah!
    3. Thus, His Matthew 11:28-30 call to the oppressed is a great study in spiritual nurture (as follows):
      1. Jesus called for "those tired from hard toil" (kopiontes, Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 45) to come unto Him for rest, Matt. 11:28a. Those who toiled were those who were trying in human effort or merit to gain salvation or spiritual rest, an exercise in futility, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 7:15-8:4.
      2. Jesus called for "those loaded down," (pephortismenoi, perfect passive participle, Ibid.; The Anal. Grk. Lex., 1972, p. 323) to come to Him for rest, Matt. 11:28b. The verb, a perfect passive participle, may refer to those who had been burdened with sin or those upon whom Israel's errant religious leaders had laid heavy legalistic rules men could not keep, producing unbearable, false guilt, cf. Matthew 23:1-4.
      3. The rest would come from Christ Himself, the contraction, ka'go (kai + ago = "and I Myself) being the subject of the verb "to give rest," the preposition "I Myself" ( ago) being written in addition to the verb to give the subject emphasis, U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 41; Matt. 11:28c. Thus, the One providing this rest is the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, the Lord Jesus Himself, cf. Hebrews 13:20; Psalm 23:1-3.
      4. The "rest" to be provided is expressed in the verb, "anapauo," meaning "cause to rest, give rest," Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1968, p. 58; Matt. 11:28d. Thus, Christ Himself will cause to rest or give rest to those who come unto Him for salvation and/or for rest in living.
      5. However, beyond merely promising some rest, Christ called His disciples to take up His yoke and learn of Him to rest to the soul (Matt. 28:29-30), an expression full of meaning on discipleship in that era:
        1. The rabbis taught that taking up the "yoke" meant "laborious performances" toward "impossible self-righteousness," Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1972, ii, p. 143.
        2. In contrast, Christ's "yoke" was easy and His burden was light (Matt. 11:30) in a life of faith in God where He supplied the power and equipping for restful blessing, Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Matt . 11:28-30.
        3. Bearing Jesus' "yoke" was marked by an "unassuming, gentle, meek" demeanor (praus, Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 705) and "humble" (tapeinos, Ibid., p. 811-812) attitude, the opposite of the pride in Israel's self-righteous, oppressive religious leaders! (Matthew 11:29b)
        4. Consequently, Christ's disciples would find spiritual rest to their psuche, the whole inner man, that which comprises the spiritual, mental and emotional realms of a human being, Ibid., p. 901-902.
Lesson: Jesus is God's true Messiah since, opposite what an evil, selfish Messiah would do if rejected by Israel as a nation, He ministered in gentle condescension to give oppressed individuals great rest!

Application: May we trust in and follow Jesus Christ to find complete spiritual rest in the inner man.