Come to me, Jesus assures rest for all who are weary in Mathew 11:28
Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt overwhelmed by the things of this world?
Times where life seemed so hard, and no matter what you did, things didn’t work out?
Don’t worry, and God tells you, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened “.
We all go through periods like that, and they are moments of learning and testing that allow you to grow stronger in Jesus.
Christians go through these situations more times than you think. But the difference is that we know that we can rest in God, that we can leave our burdens in His hands.
“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden”: Matthew 11:28
This message is made up of several letters that we will explain separately and in detail:
come to me
The first thing that Jesus says to us is: “Come to me.” We can go to God personally; there is nothing between him and us. The simplicity of Jesus’ promise is surprising and refreshing. Jesus does not offer us a fourfold path to peace-giving enlightenment, but rather he presents himself as the universal solution to all that weighs us down.”
And his simple promise is bold: “Come to me, all you who labor and are weary.” Jesus is who he says he is: the eternal Word made flesh, our Creator ( John 1:1-3, 14; John 8:58; Hebrews 1:1-3 ). Its simple promise implies a power behind it more than enough to lift what weighs us down.
What does it mean to come to Jesus?
When we read the context of this promise ( Matthew 11-12 ), its meaning becomes clear. In his rebuke to the cities ( Matthew 11:20-24 ) and religious leaders ( Matthew 12:1–8 ) who saw firsthand his miraculous works, proving so clearly who he was ( John 5:36 ), and even, so they refused to believe in him, we know that when Jesus said, “come to me,” he meant, “belief in who I say I am and therefore what I can do for you.”
And this is where our overwhelmed souls are put to the test. Will we believe in him? Will we trust him? We want our souls to rest in knowing how and when God will address our crippling problems. But Jesus does not provide those details. He promises us that he will take care of them.
Jesus does not want our souls to rest in the how and the when, as if we were wise enough to understand and determine them. Rather, he wants our souls to rest in the assurance that he will fulfil his promise in the best way at the best time.
“Come to me,” he says, “cast your anxieties on me because I care for you” ( 1 Peter 5:7 ). “Trust in me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” ( Proverbs 3:5 ), he says, “and you will find rest for your souls.”
God loves you; He loves you so much that Jesus died on the Cross to prove it. Jesus did not have to come to this earth and die, but God’s love is so great, and he wanted us so much that he decided to come. Take a moment to consider that, and you will understand that you are loved.
All those who are loaded
God lets us know who needs rest: those who work and are overwhelmed, but what does that mean? In this context, those who work strive to do everything independently and fail.
I know that in my life, when I try to do everything with my own strength, it doesn’t work out. When you are overloaded, it is as if your spirit, mind, will, and emotions cannot function because you have this weight on you that you are trying to lift yourself. It makes you feel depressed anxious, among other things.
So what does God say when we are tired? He will give us rest, and the best thing is that he even tells us how and that is by taking His yoke upon us and learning from Him. So, God will give us Rest from:
We do not have to be afraid of anything in this world because God is with us and supernaturally protects us. Have you ever been so close to having a car accident, and you were sure it was going to happen, but at the last minute, it didn’t? That’s God keeping you safe.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God says: “For I know the thoughts that I have of you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope.” God has good plans for your life, and you can rest easy knowing that no matter what your life is like now if you trust God, it will get better.
We all start out thinking that we can always control that sin we are about to commit, whether it is alcohol, smoking, drugs, or pornography, and for a while, you can. Eventually, the addiction has him in its grasp and now controls him. God wants to free you and give you Rest from the torture you are subjected to. In Isaiah 58:6, we are told:
- Release the bonds of evil.
- Undo heavy loads.
- Let the oppressed go free.
- Break all yoke.
God can take that addiction and crush it in your life if you let him. For some people, it will be instant, and for others, it will be a process of God healing their hearts from the things that caused the bondage in the first place.
Depression robs you of the ability to enjoy life and hurts you mentally and physically. That is not God’s will for you, and God did not create that way. God wants you to live a full life, and he can heal your mind as you take those steps of faith to find rest from him.
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Take my yoke and learn from me.
In the next verse, it says, “Take my yoke.” But if he promises us rest, why does he tell us to put on his yoke? He puts a yoke on a beast of burden to do some work. Does Jesus offer us to rest or work?
That is precisely the question Jesus wants us to ask: What work are we to do for him that is supposed to give us rest? Jesus answered this question in John 6:29: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” He responded in John 15:4:
“Remain in me” (as a branch in a vine).
Believing and persevering: that is all the work that God requires of us. Faith (believing and abiding) is based on the hopeful promises of God. That is the yoke that Jesus calls us to put on.
And what is happening here is a change of yoke. On the Cross, Jesus took our inconceivably heavy yoke of condemnation and punishment for sin and offered us in return the easy yoke and light burden of simply trusting him.
He does all the work and gives us the rest. And his work not only fully addresses our sin problem but also provides for every other need we have ( Philippians 4:19 ). All we have to do is trust him!
And as if that were not enough, by becoming human and dwelling among us, Jesus makes it possible for us to learn from him to live by faith. That is why the author of Hebrews tells us:
Look at Jesus, the founder, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. ( Hebrews 12:2 )
Believe, abide, and follow in his footsteps ( 1 Peter 2:21 ). That is the light yoke that Jesus calls us to put on. It is the only yoke that gives us rest for our souls.
When are our souls at rest?
Our souls only find rest in hope. That is what we frantically search for whenever our souls are overwhelmed and restless: hope. And that is what most of the marketing of most of the world’s products tries to offer us: hope.
But they are false hopes of soul rest, providing only a temporary distraction or briefly masking the effects of our burdened souls. They don’t ease our burdens.
“Jesus is the only answer to all the questions, worries, fears and needs that we will ever have.”
Jesus knows that he alone is our salvation, fortress, mighty rock, and refuge. He is the only answer to all the questions, worries, fears, and needs that we will have. And so, he offers himself and completely. Because our hope is from him, only in him will we find rest for our souls.
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How to find God’s Rest?
So how do we find God’s Rest? We become like Jesus through the Holy Spirit. You can’t do it alone. It’s not about trying harder but trusting more.
As you take those little steps of faith (which are different for each person), and God comes for you, you KNOW that you can trust Him in that one thing that gives you the courage to try the next thing. When we experience God, we become more like Jesus and can rest in Him.
It is a process
Learning to rest in God takes time and is a process. It’s like peeling an onion. Peel back a layer and think you have achieved it and learned what God’s Rest is, only to find that there is another layer for you to discover, learn and enjoy. It’s a journey of a lifetime that only gets better and better if you let it.
Ask God today what is the first small step to find His Rest and then do what He tells you to do. Not sure how to hear his voice? Learn to look for it. The process is different for everyone because you are different from everyone. Let God show you the best path, and then be grateful when you take those first steps.
Let’s go to Jesus together.
Jesus’ great invitation for us to come to him, exchange yokes, and find rest is not for us to do in isolation. He intends for us to come to him in community, to unite. That’s a big reason the church exists:
“Believe, abide and follow the example of Jesus. And you will find rest for your soul.”
We all carry loads and get tired, but in different ways, for various reasons, and often at other times. When we are tired, we are easily discouraged and can be given to cynical disbelief. We are usually not the best preachers of our souls in those moments. We need others to tell us the truth and help us believe in Jesus.
That is why we must not neglect to “assemble, as is the custom of some, but [keep] encouraging one another” ( Hebrews 10:25 ). We are to “exhort one another daily, lest we be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” ( Hebrews 3:13 ).
So if you are tired, for whatever reason, no matter how complex, Jesus invites you to come. Come, take his light yoke of believing in him. And if it’s hard, don’t come alone. Come to Jesus with and through a believing friend. He considers, remains, and follows the example of Jesus. And you will find rest for your soul.
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“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden” is a very beautiful expression that tells us all that Jesus wants to do for us. Our God does not want us to carry alone that weight that can overwhelm our lives. He longs for us to deliver our burdens to Him and also promises to make us rest.
He offers us the easy yoke to truly enjoy our lives by freeing ourselves from worry and sin. God did not make us be depressed and think that life is not worth living; he made us for a purpose. We have to know how to find it with his help.