[Aug 15]--Rest

Matt. 11:25-30

Today’s passage is an open invitation, and these five verses are really packed with meaning. Each sentence could be the source of a sermon, but we’ll just pick out a few thoughts which I’ve managed to glean.

First, we have some insight into God’s revelation to humanity. Exactly why some people receive Christ while others reject him is a matter of a centuries-long debate, and it’s a mystery which we’ll never completely solve in this life. However, there's a practical application which we can make from our end. Throughout the Bible and throughout history, God has tended to reveal himself to people who are childlike and humble in their openness to his truth. The proud and arrogant who think they have all the answers close themselves off to his light. As Mary once said, “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”

Second, I notice this is a peek “behind the curtain” in the relationship between the first and second Persons of the Trinity. Whatever our view of Jesus, it can’t possibly be high or exalted enough, since the Father has placed all things in his hands (or under his feet). And anyone who attempts to know God without going through Jesus is wasting his time. Christ is the door through which we have to enter in order to get to the Father. There’s no other.

The third thing is the invitation we mentioned before. You know, people used to look forward to peace and solitude, to be alone with their thoughts. Now a modern person would probably look upon that as sheer torture. We punish our worst criminals with solitary confinement. Why? Because we can’t stand to be alone with our thoughts for five minutes. We have no peace. We are, in fact, rest-less. But Jesus offers to step in and provide rest to our souls, just like he stood up in a boat and brought peace to a raging storm with one word.

To his enemies, he's the worst nightmare they'll ever face when they stand before him to be judged. But to his friends, to us who've been forgiven and reconciled, he's gentler than the softest spring breeze. Peter after his failure, Thomas after his doubts, and a host of countless others could testify about the gentleness of Christ.

And what does he ask in return? He wants to come to us as we are, but he will give us a yoke, a burden to carry. Whatever his burden he gives us, however, will be nothing compared to the burden of sin, fears, doubts, and restlessness which we hand over to him. And here’s a quick word to people who still feel burdened after they come to Christ. He promised that his yoke is easy, his burden is light. If the burden you’re carrying seems to be crushing you beneath its weight, it’s not the burden that Jesus has given you. J. C. Ryle said that his yoke is no more a burden to us than feathers are to a bird.

So how about you? Are you enjoying his rest? Do you have the attitude you need to learn from him? Why not?

Lord Jesus, I am so busy running around because I’m carrying my burdens instead of what you’ve given me. Please give me your peace, your rest.

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