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Come to Jesus: The Gentle Heart of a Glorious King

Matthew: The King and His Kingdom  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Lay Me Down
Welcome (Jason Wells)
1) A word about PBC. We are Family.
2) 2023 Budget Presentation (5:30 in the chapel)
3) OCC Packing Party (11/13 at 5PM, bring a soup/dessert)
4) Members Meeting (11/20 at 5:30 PM)
Scripture Reading (Matthew 11:25-30)
Prayer of Praise (God is Eternal), Gloria Insley
Jesus Paid It All
Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul
Prayer of Confession (Apathy), Seth Figgers
Lord From Sorrows Deep I Call
PBC Catechism #45
Why have we covenanted with one another?
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into Covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
Pastoral Prayer (Mike Klaassen)
SERMON
If you want to know who a person is, learn about their heart.
Let’s say you really wanted to learn about me after the service, so you go up to Holly. You ask her my height, my eye color, my eating habits, my education, my hobbies, my favorite sports teams, my sleeping habits, the books I’m currently reading, where I was born, etc.
You know about me, but you don’t know me.
You could, perhaps, learn more random facts about me than even Holly might know, but do you really know me as she does?
Can you interpret the looks and the nudges that we use to communicate to one another without saying a word? Not if you don’t know my heart.
If you want to know who a person is, learn about their heart.
The same is true of Jesus. If you want to know who Jesus is, learn about His heart.
Turn to Matthew 11:25
We’ve seen Jesus respond to both doubt (John the Baptist) and unbelief (cities that wouldn’t repent)
But what animates those responses? Why does He respond as He does? Because of His heart.
Matthew 11:25-30—At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In the four gospels, this is the only place where Jesus tells us about His own heart.
J.C. Ryle — “There are few passages in the four Gospels more important than this.” [1]
If you want to know who Jesus is, learn about His heart.
Three Questions:
Does not align with what’s in your bulletin

1) What is the HEART?

11:29— “… I am gentle and lowly in heart…”
What does Jesus mean by “heart?”
Not the blood-pumping organ in your chest
Not entirely right to view the heart as your feelings either.
The Bible divides you into two pieces—outer self and inner self
Body = outer self
Bible uses many terms for inner self: mind, emotion, soul, spirit, will
Those words are summarized by the word HEART
Paul David Tripp— “This term is used in almost a thousand passages of Scripture. It’s one of the most well-developed themes in all of the Bible. When the Bible uses the term heart, it means the causal core of your personhood. The heart is your directional system. The heart is your steering wheel.” [2]
Dane Ortlund—“When the Bible speaks of the heart, . . . it is not speaking of our emotional life only but of the central animating center of all we do. It is what gets us out of bed in the morning and what we daydream about as we drift off to sleep. It is our motivation headquarters. The heart, in biblical terms, is not part of who we are but the center of who we are. . . . The heart drives all we do. It is who we are.” [3]
Proverbs 4:23 —“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
This is what Jesus believed...
Luke 6:43-45—“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Pour water out of my water bottle. Why did water come out? Because water was inside the water bottle.
Your heart is who you are on the inside. It’s your nature. It’s your control center, your steering wheel.
If you want to know who a person is, learn about their heart.
For us, apart from Christ, our hearts are all bad...
We are NOT gently and lowly in heart
Jeremiah 17:9—The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
This is why the Bible describes conversion as heart surgery. Your heart of stone is being replaced with a heart of flesh.
But even with a new heart, your old flesh remains. Which is why we still struggle so much with sin...
Romans 7:18—For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Our hearts—who we are on the inside—are so tainted by sin!
But today we’re not focusing on our hearts. We’re learning about the heart of Christ...
If you want to know who Jesus is, learn about His heart.

2) What is the Heart of CHRIST?

Remember, the heart is the steering wheel, it’s the control center of the person, it’s who we are on the inside, it’s the driving center of all we do, it’s who we are.
When Jesus tells us about His heart, notice what He says...
11:29— “… I am gentle and lowly in heart…”
Who is Jesus? Who is He, really? He’s GENTLE.
The word translated “gentle” is used three other times in the NT...
Matthew 5:5, “blessed are the meek
Jesus’ heart is meek. Not weak, but meek. His strength is under control.
Matthew 21:5, “behold your King is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey”
Jesus’ heart is humble. He isn’t braggadocios. He’s interested in you.
1 Peter 3:4, when Peter admonishes wives to have a “gentle and quiet spirit”
Jesus’ heart is gentle, tender and nurturing.
Dane Ortlund—“Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms.” [4]
Jesus is LOWLY.
This word is usually translated as humble or downcast
When we think of a “humble” person we tend to think of someone with their head hanging low; someone very introverted, introspective and insecure; someone who doesn’t talk a lot, but when they do often makes self-deprecating comments. That’s not humility.
C. S. Lewis— "Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. . . . He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all." [5]
This is what we should think of when we think of Jesus being lowly. He’s “a cheerful, intelligent chap who takes a real interest in what you say to Him.”
Dane Ortlund— “The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ.” [6]
Can this really be Jesus’ heart? What about His wrath?
Last week in Matthew 11:21-24 we heard Jesus’ stern warnings to those who refuse to believe. Jesus did not speak with gentleness.
As Matthew’s Gospel continues, Jesus will speak harshly to the Pharisees and others as they increase their opposition to Him.
So when Jesus says He is “gently and lowly in heart” it doesn’t mean He no longer cares about justice, judgment and wrath
But let’s be careful here. When Jesus says He is “gentle and lowly in heart” He is not describing how He sometimes behaves. He’s saying this is who I am! This is what’s most natural to me!
This is the message of the entire Bible, if we have eyes to see it...
Consider the book of Lamentations
Jeremiah records the horrible devastation God is unleashing upon His people as discipline for their unrepentant sin.
Lamentations is a poem with 5 chapters. The first two and last two chapters have 22 verses each, but the middle chapter has 66 verses. So by the way He designed the poem, Jeremiah is drawing our attention to the middle chapter.
And in the very middle of that middle chapter, right in the center of the book He writes this about God’s heart...
Lamentations 3:33—“… He does not afflict from His heart or grieve the children of men.”
Yes, God does sometimes bring affliction. Yes, He has wrath against sin. But that’s not what’s most natural to Him. That’s not His heart.
Joel Beeke & Paul Smalley—“God’s wrath is a revelation of his divine nature. . . . Nevertheless, we recognize that God’s wrath is ‘his strange work’ (Isaiah 28:21). The Bible says, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8), but never says, ‘God is wrath.’ Strictly speaking, wrath is not an attribute of God’s nature, but is his holy justice against sin.” [7]
Jonathan Edwards—God is “a God that delights in mercy, and judgment is his strange work.” [8]
Unbeliever: Jesus’ heart is to welcome you and save you! That’s what’s most natural to Him! Come to Him today!
Christian: Is this how you think of Jesus?
Perhaps for many of us, we need to repent of our small and sinful thoughts about Jesus’ heart.
If you want to know who Jesus is, learn about His heart.

3) Why Does this MATTER?

In our text we have more than a statement about Jesus’ heart. We also see Jesus’ heart on display.
Let’s consider three glorious truths that flow from what Jesus tells us about His heart...

A) Jesus Wants to Be Known

Have you ever played a kids game called “Sardines”? It’s sometimes called “Reverse Hide and Seek.”
Explain the game
Do you think God is like that? Do you feel like He’s hiding from you (or others), making it difficult to find Him? Like He doesn’t want to be found?
Matthew 11:25-27—At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Here we see God’s sovereignty in salvation
Nobody knows Jesus unless the Son chooses to reveal Himself
The Father hides the truth about Jesus from some and reveals it to others
You would not know Jesus unless the Father and the Son (and the Spirit, who isn’t mentioned here but is elsewhere) chose to reveal Jesus to you!
"This seems like God is playing reverse hide and seek!”
When it comes to finding God, there’s only two options...
God could leave us to find Him on our own.
It would be like me trying to find a needle in a haystack. I can’t even find my water bottle when it’s in my hand.
God could graciously reveal Himself to some.
If you understand the heart of Christ, election is a gracious and glorious truth!!! He wants to be found!!
Don’t think of Jesus’ heart as stingily restricting salvation to a few. He’s gentle and lowly of heart. He’s tender and accessible. He’s outgoing and overflowing with kindness. He wants to be found!
Christian parents: I believe God placed your kids in your home because He intends to save them and He wants you to evangelize and disciple them.
Christians: I believe God placed you near your neighbors and co-workers because He intends to save some of them!
Unbelievers: I believe you’re hear today because Christ wants to be known by you today!!!
Because Jesus is gently and lowly in heart, He wants to be known.

B) Jesus Wants You to Come to Him

Like some of you, Holly has been away for the Women’s Retreat for the past few days leaving me to care for my five children alone.
I have a great relationship with all my five kids, but they really LOVE their mom. One night one of our kids was sad. This child came downstairs after bedtime and asked for a hug.
I’m not always happy when our kids get out of bed after bedtime, but this? I wanted! I want my kids to come to me when their sad.
I get more joy out comforting my kids than they get out of being comforted!!!
If that’s true for a sinful dad, how much more is it true for our gently and lowly Jesus...
Matthew 11:28a—“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden...”
Notice it’s a simple invitation: come.
Not work, do, try, labor, or strive. Just come.
“You don’t understand, Jesus! I can’t come...
I’m angry, anxious, apathetic, bitter, complaining, covetous, doubtful, discontent, dishonest, disobedient, divisive, envious, fearful, forgetful, given to gossip, greedy, hard-hearted, hateful, hypocritical, ignorant, immoral, impatient, jealous, judgmental, lustful, proud, rebellious, selfish, self-righteous, sick, sore, tired, unthankful, weak, worldly.”
Jesus replies, “no YOU don’t understand. Come to me ALL who labor and are heavy laden. That burden you’re carrying, whatever it is, is the very thing that qualifies you to come.”
Ortlund gives us the following illustration. [9]
Imagine a compassionate doctor who traveled deep into the jungle to provide medical care for a primitive tribe afflicted with a horrible disease. He has no ulterior motives for financial gain or worldly applause. He simply wants to help the sick. So he travels to the jungle with his medical equipment and the medicine to care for the sick.
But as he seeks to care for the sick, they refuse. They want to care for themselves. They want healing on their own terms.
Finally, after months working with these people a few young people step forward to receive the doctor’s care.
What does the doctor feel? Joy!
And the more the people come to him, the greater the joy he feels. That’s the whole reason he came.
How much more does Jesus feel joy when we come to Him with our burdens. He is not flustered or frustrated when we come to Him with our burdens. That’s the reason He came!!!
You don’t have to do self-imposed penance before you come to Jesus!
Pray boldly!!!
Because Jesus is gently and lowly in heart, He wants you to come to Him.

C) Jesus Wants to Give You Rest

In August 6, 1930, Joseph Crater had dinner with friends at a Manhattan restaurant, then stepped into a cab and has not been seen or heard from since.
Because he was a successful New York Supreme Court Judge, the possibility of his murder was immediately suspected, but no evidence has supported that theory.
In the nearly 100 years since his disappearance, countless theories have emerged but none have been confirmed.
Only one key piece of evidence has ever been uncovered. After her husband's disappearance, his wife found cash-stuffed envelopes and a letter dated the day of his disappearance with a simple message: "I am very weary. Love, Joe."
Are you weary today? Wearied by...
Circumstances?
Suffering?
Striving?
Sin?
Because Jesus is gently and lowly in heart, He wants you to give you rest.
Matthew 11:28-30—“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus gives rest!!!
In our circumstances, in our suffering, from our striving, as He freely forgives our sin
This is rest for our souls!!!
Does it surprise you that Jesus gives rest by inviting you to share His yoke?
SHOW YOKE IMAGE
Yokes are supposed to make burdens easier to carry!
“The cure for a heavy burden is not to have no burden, but a light burden, the right burden.” [11]
How is Jesus’ yoke easy?
Jesus’ Commands are True
They correspond with reality
Jesus’ Commands are Consistent
Jesus’ Commands are Clear
Jesus’ Commands are Good
1 John 5:3—For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
Resisting Jesus’ yoke when He’s trying to give you rest is like resisting a life preserve when you’re drowning!
If you want to know who Jesus is, learn about His heart.
In March 1767, John Newton (the pastor who wrote Amazing Grace) wrote a letter to a friend that said this: “Are you not amazed sometimes that you should have so much as a hope, that, poor and needy as you are, the Lord thinks of you? But let not all you feel discourage you.
For if our Physician is almighty, our disease cannot be desperate
and if He casts none out that come to Him, why should you fear?
Our sins are many, but His mercies are more:
our sins are great, but His righteousness is greater:
we are weak, but He is power.” [10]
In just a moment we’re going to sing a few verses from a song inspired by those words, a song that reminds us of Jesus’ heart.
While we sing, parents please pick up your children from PBC Kids so we can take communion together.
PRAY
His Mercy is More (2 verses)
LORD’S SUPPER
On the night Jesus was betrayed…
…as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)
2000 years later, Christians all over the world continue to observe this meal to remind ourselves and one another that we are forgiven, not by our own works but by the work of Jesus on the cross in our place.
The bread we eat represents Jesus’ body, given to ransom His people.
The cup we drink represents Jesus’ blood, poured out to forgive our sins.
If you haven’t been forgiven, if you’re not a Christian, we respectfully ask you not to take the Lord’s Supper with us.
We invite you to receive Jesus, not the symbol that reminds us of Jesus.
You can ask any one of our pastors about that at one of the tables and we’ll stop what we’re doing to talk and pray with you about what it means to follow Jesus.
If you believe you’re a Christian but you haven’t followed Jesus in believer’s baptism we respectfully ask you not to take the Lord’s Supper with us.
We want something bigger and better for you than a symbolic meal.
We want you to enjoy a life of obedience as a follower of Jesus. And that journey begins with believer’s baptism and membership in a local church.
Elders come to the table, while I explain how we celebrate the Lord’s Supper at PBC…
JESUS AND YOU MOMENT as you pray silently, preparing your heart
Sit and pray as long as you need.
Confess sin to God and (if necessary) to others
PRAISE HIM FOR HIS GRACE!!!
JESUS AND OTHERS MOMENT as you come to the table
When you’re ready, walk towards the front and gather around a table
One of our pastors will pray over you and others with you
Eat the bread at the table, then bring your cup back to your seat
JESUS AND EVERYBODY MOMENT as we take the cup
Once everyone has taken the bread, we’ll take the cup together
Please pray with me, then when you’re ready come to any of the tables
After everyone has had the bread...
Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you and be thankful.
Let’s sing together
His Mercy is More
Benediction (Eph. 3:17-19)
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