Time to Rest with Jesus

(Matthew 11:25-30)

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Hardworking men and women deserve their rest, yes! But when we take a break from our work, whatever we still carried on within our souls and minds can affect our quality and satisfaction of rest.

From our human soul proceeds desires and expectations, and our minds are often flooded with worries and concerns we just could not let go from time to time.

Human lives can become burdensome due to dreams and plans beyond our reach. We have ongoing concerns trying to understand if we can reach our goals.

In this context of Matthew 11:25-30, Jesus talked about labor, burden and taking a rest.

We are familiar with this text, but Jesus’ message has a different suggestion from what we could have expected about taking a rest.

Imagine a worker who is “heavy laden”, what he wants to do is put down his yoke, lay aside his burden, take a break and go for a holiday! But in this very context, Jesus’s promise of rest is to take up a different yoke, another task!

Imagine Jesus speaking to your heart “All right now, you who feel heavy laden, you wish to take a break don’t you?”

“And this is what you need to do to find rest, take my burden upon you!”

Now that is a completely different idea we have or we could have imagined about finding rest. So what’s the catch? What was Jesus’ trying to show us?

We know Jesus said “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light … but never a lazy task! We know Jesus worked round the clock!

(John 5:17)

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

The Pharisees were “angry” with Jesus that He did not stop working on the Sabbath. God Himself gave the commandment with regards to Sabbath because God is concern about us taking a rest from our labor. The Pharisees were looking forward to their Sabbath every week.

Now Jesus is teaching us to “find rest” not by stopping work, but to continue working!

So how do we really find rest by continuing working? Few important things Jesus is showing us here Matthew 11:25-30, we need to pay attention to –

  1. Our own human labor is too heavy for us. We are over-loaded. We are carrying burden God did not intend for us to carry.
  2. Jesus’ labor is different from our kind of labor. How different? Jesus’ is working as according to the plan and purpose of the Father. Are we?
  3. Jesus is meek and lowly in heart, means we are not! We are ambitious and we have expectations we did not know is beyond our limits.
  4. Jesus’ kind of labor give rest to our souls which means our labor is not giving us proper rest for our souls.
  5. Jesus’ yoke is easy, our yoke is difficult. We think the opposite!
  6. Jesus’ burden is light, our burden is heavy. Can you believe that?

Are we missing something important here?

We need to ask ourselves few important questions to help us understand such mysteries

Where are we going with our labor?”

What are we trying to accomplish by our own human endeavor?”

“End of the day, end of our life, what reward do we expect from our years of labor?”

I want to bring you to the night Jesus was betrayed.

In the Gospel of John chapters 14 to 17, Jesus had spoken very personal important matters to those who were close to Him. Such message not recorded in the other three Gospels.

What Jesus had spoken here John 14 – 17, is known as “Farewell Discourse” as Jesus was preparing to go to the cross and return to the Father. And if you will pay attention, these messages were spoken to the disciples after Judas left the last supper.

In the midst of this long message Jesus said something of paramount importance, which no other person here on Earth should have said –

(John 14:6)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We know this scripture verse very well, and to ensure I can fully understand what Jesus is teaching here, I want to use an Old Testament text to explain in detail what Jesus is showing me.

 

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

I think Psalm 23 needs no further explanation.  The ultimate end of Psalm 23, the Shepherd is leading us to the house of the Lord and that is where we will live forever.

The house of the Lord is where can find our Father in heaven, is the same place we find Jesus and of course the Holy Spirit is there. Within the Trinity is where we find the source of life, even eternal life!

Yes, eternal life! That is the ultimate rest for all human souls.

Psalm 23 explain very clear that Jesus is the way leading us to the Father, and what can we expect when we meet the Father is eternal life!

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is our best guarantee that His promise of eternal life is true and indisputable. And our condition to receive that ultimate rest is to pay attention to what Jesus said and taught to us and do as He told us to.

Let’s go back to the opening scripture

(Matthew 11:25-30)

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus’ yoke is easy, His burden of light, because the whole purpose and intentions of God’s appointed labor is for us to find our ultimate eternal rest for our souls.

We are the one who needed that rest.

Jesus is leading us to the very source of it, therefore we follow Jesus by carrying His yoke His burden and we will find rest for our souls.

 

In-His-Service

David Z