Matthew 11:28-30 - (Jesus said) "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
We live in a land of opportunity, but no nation, not even ours, can give our hearts happiness or our souls rest.
When it comes to these things, we are on our own. We have to carry our own burdens; we are still yoked to our own sorrows and shortcomings. We still must navigate our own rivers of disappointment alone.
Unless ... that's a big word ... unless we hear the invitation which comes from the Son of God.
This is what He said: "Come to Me, all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Did you listen carefully? Jesus makes a promise that no country can. Now, the Statue of Liberty may extend an invitation to the poor and huddled masses, but that's all it can do. It can't guarantee anything after people pass through the golden door.
But God's Son, Jesus Christ, goes way beyond giving an invitation. He makes a commitment: "Come to Me, and I will give you rest." And that isn't the end of His promise. In the next verses He says that if we get hitched up to Him, we will find our burdens are light. Jesus is promising that our rivers of disappointments can be reduced to manageable and fordable creeks.
Yes, I know it sounds impossible. But I'm telling you the truth. No, Jesus is telling you the truth.
Jesus is inviting everyone who is weary, which means all of us, to come to Him. Now I'm going to make a distinction here. Jesus is not talking about being "tired." You know tired, the bodily exhaustion that comes from having watched a two-year-old for an entire day and night when he has the flu. Tiredness is a bodily condition. Now, Jesus can help with tiredness, but in this passage from the Bible, He's making an invitation to those who are weary.
Weariness is a condition of the heart, the conscience, and the soul.
Weariness comes to most of us through worry. And Jesus is promising to take our worry, put it into perspective, and give us rest. And if you're wondering how this looks in reality, this may help: I know one couple who found Jesus' promise was true.
They were talking, and I mean that they were not arguing, but talking about their financial difficulties, and the wife sort of sighed, "I hope the day is going to come when we'll be rich and not have to juggle our money around this way."
Her husband, smilingly, took her hands in his and said, "Darling, we have the Lord; we have each other; we have our health; we have two beautiful children, and our house is a happy one. We are rich, maybe, someday, we'll have money!"
That's what happens when you have been given Jesus as your Savior from sin, death, and devil. It is what happens when you have learned from Him; when you have been yoked to Him, when He walks daily with you. You find you can deal with the burdens which once had been so distracting, so disastrous, and so discouraging.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, pains and problems are part and parcel of life in this sinful world. I give thanks for the Redeemer who has rescued my soul for eternity. May I also rejoice in His ongoing companionship which helps with the living of each day. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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