A Gospel-Picture of Christ: Hearing and Knowing the One Who Offers Us RestMonday, September 12, 2005
An introduction to the sermon "Rest for the Weary" on Matthew 11:28, preached by William Jay on Sunday Evening, November 16, 1845. Adapted from Withhold Not Thine Hand: Sunday Evening Sermons and Thursday Evening Lectures by William Jay (Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005. Paperback, 616 pages).
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest."
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While the Pharisees were gathered round, the Savior proposed the question to them, "What think ye of Christ?" The question is most important and interesting, for He is the centre in which the lines of revelation all unite and harmonize. Every truth of the gGospel has some relation to His grace or His glory, and our love to Him, and our dependence upon Him, will be governed by our apprehensions of His character, knowledge of Christ; hence Paul exclaims, "Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." And hence He is so fully, and so frequently, described in the Scriptures of truth. If you go back to the Old Testament prophecies, by nothing is He so distinguished as by His tenderness to the poor, the distressed, the weak and the wretched.
Shall we refer to His actions? "He himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." We read of His having compassion on the multitude because they had now been with Him three days and had nothing to eat. And on another occasion, that He had compassion on the multitude because they were as sheep having no shepherd; that He had pity on the widow of Nain,and gave her back her son. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, and occasioned the exclamation of the Jews, "Behold, how He loved him!"
Or shall we appeal to His words? Where shall we begin? "Let not your heart be troubled," said He, "neither let it be afraid." "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." Where shall we end? "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
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This intro by Jay reminded me of the hymn written by Fanny Crosby, "Jesus Will Give You Rest." She wrote,
Will you come, will you come with your poor broken heart,burdened and sin oppressed?Lay it down at the feet of your Saviour and Lord, Jesus will give you rest.
Will you come, will you come? There is mercy for you, balm for your aching breast;Only come, as you are, and believe on his name, Jesus will give you rest.
Will you come, will you come? You have nothing to pay, Jesus who loves you best,By his death on the cross purchased life for your soul, Jesus will give you rest.
Will you come, will you come? How he pleads with you now; Fly to his loving breastAnd whatever your sin or your sorrow may be, Jesus will give you rest.
Oh, happy rest, sweet, happy rest, Jesus will give you rest,Why won't you come in simple, trusting faith? Jesus will give you rest.