Summary: We all get weary. What does Jesus mean when he says he will give us rest?

I Am Weary

Matt 11:28-30

For 75 years a missing persons case in NYC has remained unsolved. One evening in August of 1930 Joe Crater, a successful Supreme Court Judge for New York, waved goodbye to some friends after dinner at a restaurant, got in a taxi, and disappeared. Nothing in his past or present could explain his strange disappearance except possibly a note he left with a check for his wife. The note simply said, “I am very weary, love Joe”

Was that note an indication of his plans? Was it simply an expression of his feeling tired? Was it a note from a despairing man? We’ll never know.

What I do know is the weariness is draining. I’m not talking about being weary after a long day of work. I am talking about emotional weariness. That feeling that everything is coming down on you. You feel like all you are doing is swimming upstream in life and not getting anywhere. I would wager that most of us have felt that way at some time or another.

In our text Jesus offers a tremendous gift. I’ll take your heavy burden if you take my light one.


I. The Burden of Weariness

A. Understanding weariness

1. Many of us understand the difference between weariness and tiredness.

a) Being tired can be both a good or bad thing.

b) Constant tiredness isn’t healthy. It’s usually an indication of other things happening to your body or mind.

c) Being tired after a hard day’s work is normal.

d) It’s good to exert our bodies and minds. In fact it is refreshing to push them from time to time.

2. Weariness is a little different.

a) It involves being tired, but for a very different reason.

b) Weariness comes from despairing, being discouraged, or hopelessness.

3. This summer I was weary. I felt like nothing I was doing was accomplishing anything. I felt alone, frustrated, tired and emotionally drained. I wanted to escape.

B. No one likes to be weary. Escape from it is a normal desire.

1. Some try to spend their way out of weariness.

2. Some try drugs and drinking to escape.

3. Some try vacations and other diversions.

4. Some look for help from doctors, counselors or God.

5. I have found that the last option is best for me

6. I also found that God has a way of removing my weariness and giving a sense of his purpose at the same time.

II. Exchanging our Burdens

A. Rest

1. Sleeping is a normal reaction to weariness.

2. Sleeping too much is a sign of depression that comes with being weary.

3. When you are weary, you long for rest.

B. When Jesus offered rest that had to grab people’s attention.

1. You can offer me rest? Real rest?

2. I can escape from this crushing burden that is weighing me down?

3. How? What do I have to do? How much do I have to pay?

4. (Pause) What’s the catch?

C. Heavy load for a light load

1. I started watching the Amazing Race this year. It is with families of four racing to that final finish line. All the families have at least one person so is physically weaker than the others. The families that work well together, would often have the stronger members take the heavy packs off the weaker members and have them carry a smaller load. It was still a burden but one they could handle. The heavy load would have worn them down so much they wouldn’t have been able to stay in the race.

2. In the race of life, do you ever feel like you are carrying that load that unless someone else will take it, you know in your heart you won’t finish the race?

3. The burden we bear in following Christ is nothing compared to the burden we have to carry when we don’t let him step in and help.

4. Rest … a lighter load

5. If you can do that for me, I know I can make it Jesus.

D. The catch

1. I remember talking to Anna several months ago and she told me something that shocked me. I’m scared to trust you. It’s hard for me to trust people. Growing up in Chicago no one did anything nice, just to be nice to me. You people have been so nice to me that it scares me. I keep half expecting something bad to happen.

2. I’ll bet her thought are echoed by all kinds of people who look at what Jesus is offering.

3. What’s the catch?

4. Jesus say simply, “learn from me.”

a) A yoke is used to get two animals to work together.

b) Many times it’s used to take one animal that is already trained and hook up a new animal to it. The experienced one then teaches the other what is expected to work together.

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