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

God’s good gift to mankind … truth and eternity … as revealed through Jesus

(John 18:38)

“Pilate saith unto him (Jesus), What is truth? …”

The night Jesus was betrayed, the events which unfolds, the last supper, the promise of the Holy Spirit, His testimony before Pilate and beyond to crucifixion.

It all begins to reveal to us, our human weakness of not knowing truth and reality as we should have known about God’s salvation plan for mankind.

Means to say, we are very lacking in knowing and understanding the plan and purpose of God for us for good, in our lifetime.

It is interesting to note the opening chapter of the Gospel of John; the writer declared Jesus being the creator of all things and came to His own created world but His own creations knew Him not.

When we do not know the truth about Jesus, we do not know His goodness.

When we do not know the truth of God’s character, we do not know what good gifts God will give to us!

 

(James 1:17)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

So how do we know what is really good for us? In the days of the Gospel, many rejected Jesus because they rejected the truth of God’s word. They do not feel the words of Jesus are good for them!

Why?

 

(John 6:26-27)

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

 

In the context of this conversation Jesus had with those who came searching for Him, there was an issues about food for survival.

Practical legitimate human needs we think are best for us but not the best as according to God’s plan and purpose for us.

So let’s go back to history and learn a thing or two about human survival based on God’s truth and what have we have missed.

When God created the Earth and mankind to live on the Earth, God did provided and protected us with His promises of blessing and authority.

God created everything that thrives and regenerates life and growth, and put Man in the midst of it.

But to live under the provision and protection of God requires us to keep our part of the covenant relationship with God.

Simply means to trust and obey God’s commandments, and to trust and believe God is true and correct.

We know the story; things did not go well for Adam and Eve, and it would be easy to blame it on the serpent but there were consequences for all parties involved.

Did you know God Himself took full responsibility for everything? He did.

It was not the situation where God passed judgement on Adam and Eve, and the serpent, and sent everybody out of Eden so He can live alone.

Put yourself in the position of the creator, you will understand God created all things with good intention, but damage was done.

Who felt the most pain and hurt?

From that time Adam and Eve left Eden, God carried upon Himself the plan and purpose to save and redeem mankind and the earth from eternal destruction.

Now the history of human civilization as according to what is written in the Torah, from the time of Adam till today – about 6 000 years. Can you imagine how long time, how much pain and suffering God have to put up with us to redeem us from sins and death.

From the time of Adam till today and till Jesus returns and to the time of the new heaven and new Earth, God have been carrying upon Himself this burden of restoration.

This is a difficult inconvenient truth for all mankind.

Here on Earth today, those who yet to believe in the salvation plan of God through Jesus are still the majority. And since the day Adam and Eve left Eden, mankind had tried to survive on our own, finding, while drifting further and further away from the protection and provision of God.

All these while our Father in heaven, who created all things through His word, have been reaching out to us through His words of truth.

Jesus is the truth of God revealed to Mankind.

Without the truth of God’s word mankind continue to live in spiritual darkness not knowing our slavery to sins, death and separation from the blessing of God.

 

(John 8:31-36)

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 

The existence of sins in mankind resulted in breaking of covenant relationship with God Almighty, and eventually slavery to our own survival here on earth without the protection and provision of God.

Human intelligence and environmental experiences taught us about “survival of the fittest” but this concept has brought us into further and deeper bondage to our own failure.

Jesus came to restore our broken covenant relationship with God so that we can live under the provision and protection of God again. Therefore the most important part of Jesus’ public ministry was the restoration of truth so that we can make our well-informed choices to live in freedom and eternity with God.

God’s good gift to mankind is truth.

 

(John 17:14-17)

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

 

As Christians the most important thing in our life is the truth of God’s word revealed through Jesus. It keeps us on the right path to eternity.

For those who yet to believe in Jesus, the most basic necessity for them is the same truth of God’s word revealed through Jesus, helping them to find eternal life.

This truth of God’s word is of eternal value and when we have within us that knowledge and understanding of God’s truth revealed through Jesus, we will feel convicted of our need to live as according to the will of God.

 

(1 John 2:17)

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

Jesus came to restore us back to covenant relationship with our Father in heaven by delivering us from sins and death, and by showing us the truth of God’s word.

 

In-His-Service

David Z