Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
This verse follows me around these days, everywhere I go.
From a series I wrote last year to a recent sermon at church to a card from a new friend with this verse painted on the front. Two books I read this summer discussed it at length, and last week, our community group sat around the living room, talking about ways we need to listen to these words.
Do scriptures sometimes chase you around like that?
Like arrows, they point the way to things we need to see.
Since I know these words well, I almost read past them. But there’s gospel wrapped up in them, and they’re worth listening to again.
Come to me.
This means, first of all, to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
To come is to eat the bread of life and drink His living water, to enter through the Door and spend time being with Him.
Come to who?
Come to Jesus. Our faith should never be wrapped up in a church or other believers or even ourselves. Salvation is found in a Person—Jesus Christ.
Who should come to Jesus?
All you who are weary and burdened.
This means all of us.
We are universally burdened by the weight of our sin. When we come to Jesus, we admit we are chained and He is the only way to freedom.
He desires to set all of us free from sin–if we will come to Him, humble to admit our sin.
There are other ways we are weary and burdened.
The people Jesus spoke to were spiritually weary. The Pharisees placed heavy loads on their shoulders and insisted on a legalistic reading of the law, causing unnecessary spiritual anxiety.
They were weary, and this was not the way of Jesus.
These days, many of us are weary because we rarely stop striving. Maybe we’ve swallowed the lie that we are not enough, we need to prove ourselves, and God is just waiting for us to get our junk together and DO something for Him. Also, it better be big. Flashy. Measurable.
Maybe we’re trying to keep up with what EVERYONE ELSE is already doing, or there’s another reason we work so hard. Either way, we are tired from all we’re doing. We’re burdened by commitments we take upon ourselves unnecessarily.
We may also be burdened by the demands of others, because sometimes the people we care for DO need more. Sometimes, others place loads upon us that we weren’t meant to bear. Other times, we carry wounds caused by others’ sins against us.
Jesus sees all of this. He sees the reasons we are weary and burdened, and He cares.
Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life—offers a better way.
He wants to give us true spiritual and physical rest. He offers eternal rest, as in salvation, and then He gives us even more. The Greek word here carries with it the idea of relief, refreshment, ease, blessed quiet, and even recreation.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)
We may daily enter into the rest of Christ, but this is not something we can earn. It is His gift to us, as we come to Him for life.
At first, we come to Jesus as sinners in need of salvation.
Once we know the way, we come to Him AS the way to life.
We take His yoke upon us, instead of our own. Instead of what everyone else says we need or we need to do. We learn from Him.
In Jesus Christ, we find rest for our souls. With Him, we live out the beauty of the gospel. In Christ, we find rest and life and everything we need.
I’m praying that rest is yours today,
See this post also at PurposefulFaith today!