February 13 – Matthew 11:25-30

In Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus discloses a precious truth—this is the only place in the Gospels where Jesus tells us about his own heart, and what he reveals is a wondrous source of rest and assurance. Jesus is the king, and “all things have been handed over” to him. But he’s no taskmaster or tyrant; instead, he is “gentle and lowly in heart.” With him we can trust, completely, the goodness of his rule in our lives and find the rest for which our souls long.

11:25-30 describes an amazing, compassionate savior, but note that not everyone receives him as such. Back up and read over chapter 11 and you’ll see the context: Jesus has gone about preaching the message of the kingdom and healing people in and around Galilee, and yet many hearts have stayed far from him.

He says that they are worse even than Sodom, which was destroyed for its evil in Genesis 19—had Jesus walked the streets of Sodom, Jesus says, the city would have repented of its sin, and yet the hearts in the Galilean cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida were too unwilling (11:21).

But not everyone has stayed far off. In verse 25, Jesus thanks God for those to whom he has revealed the truth of the gospel. And who does God choose to reveal himself to? Not the wise or mighty of the earth but the lowly: little children. He’s using them as exemplars like in Mark 10:15, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

In his time, children were sort of just tolerated (in Mark 10 the disciples don’t even let them come see Jesus), so this is a countercultural way for him to express how God reveals himself to the least, the last, and the lost. There is no one beneath him; all are welcome.

Jesus follows this up with another remarkable statement, “All things have been handed over to me.” This resembles, in a way, what he’ll say after his resurrection in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Questions for Discussion
• Could someone read Matthew 11:25-30 for us?

• What stood out to you in this passage?

• In verse 27 Jesus says that no one knows the Father except those to whom Jesus reveals. What does Jesus reveal to us about God in this passage?

• How does that revelation compare or contrast to what you expect out of God?

• What do you think Jesus is talking about when he says, “Take my yoke upon you”?

• How can this passage encourage and give us hope?

• Jesus tells us “All things have been handed over” to him. How can Jesus’ reign and rule produce rest for your soul?