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Woe Unto Thee

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A Sermon on Matthew 11:21-28

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest

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. (ESV)

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What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened”? What is the burden that Jesus was speaking of? In this sermon on Matthew 11:21-28, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the necessity of seeing Christ’s gentleness as well as His severeness. Many today preach only on God’s love, believing that a loving God cannot possibly condemn anyone. If that were the case, what was the point of Jesus’ death on the cross? Dr. Lloyd-Jones dispels the false idea that God cannot punish sinners, and instead shows us that God must punish sin, whether that is through Jesus, or through the sinner himself. It is the Gospel that determines who takes the wrath of God. So then what is your standing before God? This is the most important question a person can ask themselves, and your eternal soul depends on the correct answer. God has promise that He will give salvation and rest to those who humble themselves and believe God is who He says He is. However, for those who try to shape God into their own being, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that there is no salvation or rest. Which are you? By the end of this sermon, you should have a clear answer.


Additional Scripture Translations

Matthew 11:21-28, New American Standard Bible

21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that occurred in you had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades! For if the miracles that occurred in you had occurred in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment, than for you.”

Come to Me

25At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants. 26Yes, Father, for this way was well pleasing in Your sight. 27All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son determines to reveal Him.

28“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:21-28, King James Version

21Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

25¶ At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

28¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.