Matthew 11

Life can be heavy. For some of you reading this, that’s an understatement. Some of you have walked through the tragedy of the death of someone close to you, the painful end of a marriage, or a life that’s been filled with shattered dreams. In so many ways, that’s a product of living in a fallen world. However, even though we live in a fallen world, we don’t need to live as faltering people. Jesus comes to people who are weary and worn out, and he speaks a better word over them.

It was right after John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he really was the Messiah that Jesus gave this great invitation. He knew John was going to die and that many were distraught by that reality. It was into that pain that he spoke these words,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

The invitation for rest is quite wonderful, but the requirement to get to that rest is something I want to avoid: laboring and being heavy laden. The invitation to Jesus’ rest is open to all… all who are burdened by life and need to find a different way of being. See, until we realize that our old way of life isn’t working, we’ll never come to him to find a different kind of rest.

I think it’s important to realize that Jesus doesn’t promise that we won’t be burdened, he states that we will be burdened by his easy yoke instead of the yoke that sin and hopelessness cast on us. The yoke Jesus gives is light because it frees us to have confidence that God is good and trustworthy.The easy yoke affirms that we don’t have to have all the answers or always get it right. The easy yoke affirms that God’s grace is sufficient for us even when we are at our worst. The easy yoke doesn’t necessarily change the world we live in, it changes the way we carry the weight of the world.

I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases this passage in The Message when he wrote:

“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.”

Let’s do that today. Let’s keep company with Jesus and learn to live lightly; the way he designed and longs for us to live.

Pastor Ryan Paulson

Subscribe to the Daily Fill