Lessons from Jesus

Come and Rest

Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good rest? Our bodies all need a certain amount of rest; while we sleep, for example, the body has time to repair itself, rebuild energy levels and restore its optimum working levels.

all who labour… During the time of Jesus, the majority of those listening would have had very physical jobs: fisherman, carpenter, stonemason, field worker etc. They were accustomed to a hard day’s labour and they would have understood the need for rest. Jesus always used everyday situations to help people visualised His teaching. He spoke right into the heart of their concerns.

and are heavy laden… As Jesus had been speaking, some lawyers in the crowd had felt insulted by what Jesus had said, and he answered them saying, “you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:46). The Scribes, Pharisees and apparently, lawyers, were all a law unto themselves. Their motto was ‘do as I say, not as I do’ but there were so many things to get wrong that the people couldn’t keep up with the rules. This angered Jesus, who confronted them saying, “Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it” (Luke 11:44).

In contrast to Jesus, all the other leaders appeared to making life as difficult as they could for the people, burdening them with rule up rule. Jesus could see their struggle and with tenderness and compassion, He looked at each one and said, “Come to me…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.

Each one of us needs rest for our bodies, rest for our minds and rest for our souls. Without rest we burn out and become unproductive, ineffective and are unable to function properly. Resting in Jesus not only refreshes us physically and mentally, it also strengthens us spiritually. When we are yoked to His Word and learn from Him, He brings us into a divine sanctuary of deep inner rest.

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