Jesus’ Invitation in Matthew 11:25 – 30

Looking at Matthew 11:25-30, notice a few things:

“Come unto me all who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus was speaking to the crowd; His invitation is to ‘all’.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…” something they must choose to do for themselves.

My Strong’s concordance notes re: 1014 are interesting: “will; to will, to be willing, to be disposed, minded, intend.” But when you look at the other ‘will’ 2309 thelo / theleo etc., it says “to determine; as an active option from subjective impulse” and calls attention to 1014, stating 1014 ‘properly denotes passive acquiescence in objective considerations”. In other words, the 1014 “will” found in 11:27 has the sense of allowing something to come about. While Calvinists have coined the terms “God’s permissive will” and “God’s perfect will” and built a theology around them that manages to cover everything under God’s will one way or another, and it is possible to see how they can use these two senses of “will” to arrive at their conclusions, I see the sense of this verse as follows:

 “All things are paradidomi [delivered, as surrendered or yielded up] to Me of my Father, and no one epiginosko [to recognize, to know upon a mark, by impl. to become fully acquainted with; to acknowledge; to perceive] recognizes the Son but the Father, neither epignosko [recognizes] the Father except the Son, and to whomsoever the Son boolomahee [is disposed – sense of passive acquiescence] agrees to apokalupto [disclose, reveal] Him.”

Only those whom Christ allows will recognize and truly know the Father. It does not define whom He will allow, only that His concession is required in order for the Father to become known. Immediately upon making that statement, He calls to “all who labour and are heavy laden” to come unto Him. Since all people labour under the burden of sin, from which they cannot be relieved by their own work, “all” refers to the whole population of lost man. He calls “all” to take upon themselves His yoke, etc. So, first His concession is required for anyone to receive revelation of the Father, then the invitation to come to Him is given to “all”. Christ has offered revelation of the Father to “all” who will (thelo) come to Christ for the relief of their burden.

 No one could come to God if God did not allow it, because God is holy and we are corrupted, and because God is sovereign so He alone possesses jurisdiction in the matter. This is Biblical and also self-evident. When we apply the same principle to a worldly context, no one can have tea with Queen Elizabeth if she won’t allow it, apart from a person potentially forcing themselves into her presence and holding her at gunpoint. (Despite the huge improbability, this is a material possibility) However men, despite living in God’s continual presence because it is impossible to get away from Him (Psalm 139), cannot enter His fellowship without His invitation.

 The invitation is to all men who receive Christ. All men are invited to receive Christ. Not all men will receive Christ.

 God’s glory does not diminish because of the means by which He chooses to save anyone. His glory remains under all circumstances, because He continues holy, righteous, gracious, just, in every and all circumstances.

 It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement. Some men call it our conscience; I don’t think it is our conscience that makes us feel bad about doing wrong. I believe the Holy Spirit convicts us (that “feeling bad” experience) and our conscience is what responds to or ignores His conviction. Thus, when Paul wrote to Timothy about apostates: “… their conscience being seared with a hot iron…” , he was referring to their refusal to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 1











(1 Tim 4)