October 12 (Daily reading: Matthew 11) Jesus’s praise, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (v. 25), came during a time of sadness. John the Baptist was in prison and would soon die (Mt. 14:10). Jesus had spoken a kind of eulogy about him (vv. 7-11). There was sadness in the hypocrisy of the present generation (vv. 16-18), and sorrow over the unrepentant state of certain Galilean towns (vv. 20-24). Jesus praised the Father because He knew that God was working even in the discouraging times and circumstances. His work was hidden from the “the wise and intelligent,” who thought they knew all, but they did not know God. On the other hand, “little children” (NIV) can know God because they humbly learn from Him. They know God, Jesus said, because He, the Son, who knows the Father perfectly, reveals the Father to them (vv.25-27). Jesus then invited those who wanted to know the Father to come to Him, the Son.
Jesus’s invitation was twofold. First, He invited those who were sad, discouraged, or burdened: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (v. 28). This is the rest that we find in salvation! To receive it, He said, “Come to Me!” The second invitation was to continue in His rest; to find “rest for your souls.” In His words: “Take My yoke upon you” (v. 29). This is an invitation to obedience. We take His yoke when we do His will. He said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (v. 30). “Chréstos,” the Greek word that is translated “easy” in our text, means “kind,” and it can also have the sense of “well-fitted.” Jesus’s will is easy in the sense that it is well-fitted for us. He calls us to serve Him, and then He equips us for ministry!
– Al Gary
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