Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus unveils to His followers exactly where they could discover rest for their souls. These verses mean a great deal to me, and I’d like to share with you some of the lessons God has taught me through this passage. I challenge you to make these verses a purposeful meditation throughout the day. They have literally changed my life, and I know they can do the same for you.
For the last several weeks we have been talking about this incredibly rich subject of rest. Not rest for your body, but rest for your soul. We’ve learned that we live in a Restless World because we live in a sin-cursed world. And the Saddest Man on Earth is not really the lost man, but the Christian who does not live in this rest every day. Instead he makes Poor Substitutes for Peace like prosperity, productivity, or play. These substitutes ease the pain caused by sin and restlessness, only for a season. Apart from Christ man will not find rest for his soul.
So where can you find rest that reaches into the depths of your heart? Can you really have peace in the midst of a vigorous labor or an unsettling trial?
I think the greatest place to start is the first three words of verse 28. Jesus said, “Come unto me…” I believe our rest hinges on coming to Christ: not just in salvation, but in constant fellowship with Him. Christ bids us to come to Him for eternal life, but the bidding never stops. He wants to fellowship with us and to be intricately connected to every aspect of our lives. He bids us to come and see! Hear His invitation again in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Remember when Christ turned to a fisherman named Peter, and bid him, “Follow me”? Imagine what Peter would have missed if he would have rejected Christ’s urging!
So why do we shy away when Christ tells us to come closer to Him? Why do we insist on “going” somewhere, instead of coming in to a closer walk with Christ?
I am convinced many believers today do not wish to draw nigh to Christ because they are afraid of what He might reveal. David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
When we allow ourselves to be intimate with God, the light of His glory reveals the darkest stain! Maybe that is why we shy away from His presence. Maybe the prayer closest is a distant place because it reminds us of what we have not yet surrendered to God. Perhaps the guilt of the past is so heavy that we feel it is of no use to ask God for anything.
My friend, may I remind you that the same God that saved you wishes for nothing more than fellowship with you! When you give God a search warrant into your life and open the door of fellowship with Christ, He will give you rest like you’ve never had it before!
In these first three words of Matthew 11:28, Christ is teaching us that our rest does not consist of having something, but having Someone. Our rest is in a Person not a “thing!”
When was the last time you wanted nothing else but Christ? Are you as close to Christ today as you have been before? Remember “…for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
“Come,” and keep coming to Him, “and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”