Summary: Life has its challenges and heavy burdens. Jesus invites us to lay our burdens down and rest in him.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest”
We are a sleep deprived nation. Doctors say that millions of people are not getting the necessary seven or eight hours of sleep a night. Most of us shake our head at such news because we can’t remember the last time we had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. The result is a multitude of health problems that range from high blood pressure to depression. Some of us are experiencing the results of our sleep depravation. Others are walking through life in somewhat of a daze.
In a nation that takes pride in self-achievement and hard work, it is almost considered sinful to sleep. We force ourselves to work hard and to play hard. We’ve got to be on the move. The result is that we are tired—bone tired.
It is to a tired people that Jesus offers this invitation. “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, because my burden is easy and my yoke is light.”
COME TO ME
One of the most discouraging and depressing places to be is tired AND alone. Most of us have been in that position at one time or another in our lives. We are overwhelmed by life and by our circumstances. We are drowning and there is no one to throw us a lift preserver. In these situations, Jesus comes to us and invites us to lay our burdens down.
We carry so many burdens.
· Many of us are burdened by a lack of job, or the threat of losing our jobs.
· Many of us struggle with the demands and expectations of job, family and/or school.
Burdens literally weigh us down. Burdens rob us of the joy of life. Burdens prevent us from experiencing the abundant life that is ours through the cross of Jesus Christ.
TAKE MY YOKE
Isn’t it odd that Jesus invites us to come to him when we are weary and to lay our burdens down? Jesus then invites us to pick up another burden—his burden.
Jesus specifically asks us to take his YOKE upon us. A yoke involves two, Jesus and you or me.
The yoke of Jesus is a training yoke. This means that Jesus carries the bulk of the burden. Jesus only gives us what we can carry.
Being yoked to Jesus also means that we are doing what Jesus wants us to do. We go where he leads us. We have a challenge before us. It is important for us to look at our calendar and to determine what we are involved in that God is not a part of. We are then invited to get rid of those obligations in our lives. After all, we do not live to impress the boss, meet the expectations of others or even attain our goals. We live to be obedient and faithful servants of God.
LEARN OF ME
The third element of Jesus’ invitation is to learn of him. It is interesting that Jesus does not call us to do things for him, but rather to love him and to learn from him.
When we are with Jesus, we learn of his overwhelming love for us and of the Spirit’s power in our lives.
When we are with Jesus we learn about our total dependence on God and of God’s promise never to leave us or forsake us.
When we are with Jesus we learn about the hope that come from faith in an all powerful, loving God, as opposed to the despair in the world around us.
We are not very attractive witnesses for God when we are tired, grumpy and powerless.
Jesus’ invitation enables us to be refreshed and renewed by our relationship with him and by the power of the Spirit in our lives.