INVITATION INTO THE KINGDOM

TEXT

Matthew 11:20-30
Then Jesus began to denounce the cities where he had done most of his miracles, because they hadn’t turned from their sins and turned to God.  “What horrors await you, Korazin and Bethsaida!  For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have sat in deep repentance long ago, clothed in sackcloth and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.  I assure you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on the judgment day than you!  And you people of Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven?  No, you will be brought down to the place of the dead.  For if the miracles I did for you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today.  I assure you, Sodom will be better off on the judgment day than you.”
Then Jesus prayed this prayer:  “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike.  Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
“My Father has given me authority over everything.  No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”
NLT

COMMENT

They hadn’t turned from their sins and turned to God.  Whole cities had seen the miracles, but ignored them.  And in the midst of Jesus’ pain and frustration at these cities, in the midst of his marveling at revelations to the childlike hidden from the wise and clever, he offers one of the most sublime invitations in all of Scripture.  Some may reject him, but he still offers rest to those who would come.

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Let the little children come, the aged with their white heads and mis-spent years, the black and the white, the yellow and the brown—come unto Me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved.  COME!  COME!!  COME!!!  The call goes forth to the Queen upon her throne and to the poorest wretch in the convict’s cell alike; all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; all have need of His great salvation.
Come, let the weeping tears be dried and the discouraged, hopeless soul take new courage, and find new hope, for Jesus is the hope of the hopeless.  Plunge beneath the crimson flood that flowed from His wounded side, and thou shalt know that there is indeed balm in Gilead, and gladness in the house of the Lord.
Let the giddy, laughing, thoughtless sinner, dancing on the brink of Hell, be sobered and come to Jesus in repentance, confessing his sins, or he will be eternally lost in that land where laughing and dancing are never known.  The invitation is extend to all mankind, irrespective of race, creed, color or age; all alike need Jesus, and without Him are undone; it will avail nothing to gain the whole world and lose one’s own soul….No matter how great or how small your sins may be, Jesus will forgive and pardon you, and, better still, He will remember them against you no more if you will turn to Him today whilst there is yet time.
—Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944)

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