CONTEXT: Matthew Henry breaks down this Chapter as follows: In this chapter we have, I. The constant and unwearied diligence of our Lord Jesus in his great work of preaching the gospel (v. 1). II. His discourse with the disciples of John concerning his being the Messiah (v. 2-6). III. The honourable testimony that Christ bore to John Baptist (v. 7-15). IV. The sad account he gives of that generation in general, and of some particular places with reference to the success, both of John’s ministry and of his own (v. 16-24). V. His thanksgiving to his Father for the wise and gracious method he had taken in revealing the great mysteries of the gospel (v. 25, 26). VI. His gracious call and invitation of poor sinners to come to him, and to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him (v. 27-30). No Where have we more of the terror of gospel woes for warning to us, or of the sweetness of gospel grace for encouragement to us, than in this chapter, which sets before us life and death, the blessing and the curse.
Most folks can readily quote or at least paraphrase v.28-30, ‘Come to me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, take my yoke and learn and find rest for my yoke is light.’ It is the subject of hundreds if not thousands of sermons over the years and countless words of encouragement to those troubled.
Today, however, our text focuses on the three verses v.25-27, preceding that. Most modern bibles have some sort of heading above v.25, and most of those headings focus on labor or rest. A few however have included “Come to Me.”
Why is that so significant? After all, it is part of v.28, yes but it is the conclusion or culmination of verses 25-27. Jesus speaking to the Father in v.25 (KJV), thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes the message of the Gospel was hidden from the pompous and self-righteous and revealed them to spiritual beginners. Jesus goes on to say v.26, for so it seemed good in thy sight, doing this was your sovereign will and plan from the beginning.
Finally, in v.27, Jesus makes a most profound statement declaring, no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son. At first glance, this seems very confusing, here is the conclusion of the message that we can not know God, sort of. We need to read this in two ways first human knowledge, can any “human” with our finite minds fully comprehend God. The answer is absolutely not. Second, only in our regenerated, washed cleaned by the blood of Christ, state, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit can we gain the right knowledge needed to have even the basic understanding to worship God. That is why Jesus closes v.27 with, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Only those Christ chose to reveal God to will have this understanding.
In conclusion, when Jesus says “Come to Me” in v.28 it is not just anybody and everybody He is inviting. That invitation, that rest, is only for those to whom He has chosen to reveal the spiritual truths of the Father and Son.