Matthew 11:25-30 ESV - 25 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; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 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. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Jesus has just finished confirming his identity to John the Baptist in prison, pronouncing woe to unrepentant cities and religious leaders . . . and then he gives an invitation . . .
However, Jesus is clear that he has the authority to issue such an invitation. I am so grateful that God has the authority and the power and the righteousness that consistently and always backs up and follows through with what He says.
Come — as we said yesterday, the invitation is open and welcome
to me — you have heard this from me numerous times; God does not “outsource” my care. He is personal. “He Himself” is such a gracious phrase
all who labor — kopiaō exhausted with toil or burdens or grief
heavy laden — phortizō heavy laden’ (with the burdensome requirements of the Mosaic law and of tradition, and with the consciousness of sin)
whether physically exhausted with extra duties, or trying to get through the next hour after losing someone dear; or mentally and physically exhausted with trying to be good enough or meet others’ expectations for you; or even beat down with the knowledge that your sin is awful and you wish your life were not so ugly . . . that and more is part of the “all” that Jesus invites to come to him.
give you rest — anapauō refresh your soul (not just a stopping of activity but an actual refreshment)
What Jesus says next is such an interesting thing to say to exhausted, burdened people . . .
Take my yoke upon you — take up yourself and carry Jesus’ zygos — his commandments as contrasted with the Pharisees’ burdens and society’s commands
A yoke is a tool for hard work (it is for the one being yoked, and for the one even steering the plow or wagon). Jesus does not say complete inactivity and casting off all responsibility is the key to rest (not.at.all). The key to rest is casting all your anxieties on God because He cares for You (1 Peter 5); be anxious for nothing, but pray about everything (Philippians 4). Jesus has put us here on the earth with work to do (Ephesians 2) but the key to rest (refreshment and not continual mental and physical exhaustion) is to only take on the “burdens” that God has assigned and to trust Him with the outcomes.
learn from me — anyone hearing James 1 in their head right now? Or Psalm 32:8-9 ESV – 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
gentle and humble of heart — God always acts in our best interest. Even suffering has a purpose. Whatever yoke God asks me to carry is for my good and for His glory.
you will find rest anapausis for your soul — obedience to God brings a peace to my soul. It’s an active obedience — I must ask for God’s wisdom because my heart is so flawed (Jeremiah 17); I must have His Spirit to obey Him (Romans 8) and I often must “calm and quiet my soul” (Psalm 131) and remember that I do not have to have all the answers or know all that is to come in order to obey my Lord. God does know everything and His purpose will stand.
Then, just as Jesus begins this invitation by assuring that He has the authority and the power to do what He says He will do, He gives the assurance that the “yoke” he asks me to carry is easy chrēstos (as opposed to the oppressive burdens of the Pharisees) and his “burden” is light elaphros able to be kept (of course by walking in the Spirit, not just exhausting ourselves in our own strengh, which is why we are mentally and physically exhausted!)
Oh weary one, Jesus’ invitation is genuine. Come to Him . . .
Prayer for the Persecuted Church — OpenDoorsUSA
Day 2: Pray for women who worry they will be forced
to marry a Muslim man because they have decided to
Daily Wisdom Psalm 26-30 Proverbs 6