“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
This is the way Eugene Peterson translated these verses in the Message
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
What does it mean to rest?
Do we really grasp the rest that Jesus is offering us? Have we learned to live in the unforced rhythms of grace?
Jesus invites you today to take his yoke. In farming a yoke is a wooden bar or frame which is used to join two oxen together for pulling a plow or wagon. To be under a yoke is to be under service or obligation to someone.
We all have a yoke that we bear.
We all have a yoke that we bear – we can choose to bear God’s yoke, or one that world puts on us.
The paradox of the Christian faith is that when we exchange the yoke of to do lists, the yoke of people’s expectations, the yoke of our ambitions or the yoke of religious activity; and put on the yoke of Christ, we find rest.
Christ’s yoke fits us perfectly because he knows us perfectly. When we take Christ’s yoke and learn from him we are learning from the author of wisdom himself.
When we rest we move from focusing on our hopes and desires, our to-do lists, our crowns and our ambitions to being loved … to accepting love … to being in the vine … to abiding in Christ.
Rest is a safe place!
Rest is a safe place … when we are resting in God no evil will harm us!
Consider the alternatives – resting in our self, our own abilities, our own strength … how good a job do you do in taking care of yourself? Resting in other people – will they really take care of you?
Rest allows us to re-connect with God. “We will never be able to connect with other people if we are not connected to ourselves. And we will never truly connect with ourselves unless we are connected to God”.
When we rest in God we demonstrate to a watching world that the Father has sent Jesus. When we rest in God we are proclaiming that the Father loves us just as the Father loves Jesus.
When we rest in God we demonstrate to a watching world that Christ is risen!
Do you hear God’s invitation to rest?
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, there is a living voice softly whispering in your ear, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest”. This is the voice that spoke creation into being. This is the voice that spoke in a bygone era to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the voice of Yahweh, the voice of the “I am that I am”. This is the voice of the living, risen Savior speaking to you today. This is the voice of the one who governs your workplace and who rules over the country where you live. In him is life, and that life is the light of all mankind. His light shines brightly in your workplace so that you can rest. Will you listen to his voice?
In the midst of the joys and frustrations of life, there is a voice actively crying out to you, “Come unto me and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” This voice knows the condition of your heart. This voice knows the condition of the hearts of those you work with. This voice is alive today transforming lives, healing broken hearts and setting captives free.
You can rest today for the living, effective, all powerful word of God is accomplishing what God desires, and the purposes for which God sent it to proclaim.
Will you listen to his voice? Will you take his yoke upon you and find rest for your soul?