Summary: Jesus is still actively involved in lives today, even though He no longer graces the earth with His physical presence. Just as He was committed to help the weary and burdened when He walked among us, so too, He tells us to come, to take, to learn, and to
What Is Jesus Doing Now?
Rev. Brian Bill
A recent cover of Newsweek magazine shows a picture of Harvard president Neil Rudenstine. He didn’t make the cover because of any famous accomplishments. No, his face is center stage because of something that he’s not real proud of -- there’s one word running right under his tired eyes -- Exhausted.
After three years of intensive nonstop toil in a hyper-metabolic climate, he hit the wall. By his own admission, his life was devoured, his sleep habits scrambled, and his days were filled with a long list of never-finished tasks. After a three month sabbatical, he’s just now getting back on his feet.
The head of Harvard joins a growing list of famous flameouts. After losing a war with superstar Chris Webber, Golden State Warriors basketball coach Don Nelson checked into a hospital in January complaining of exhaustion. One of the attorneys in the O.J. Simpson case had a meltdown after working 18-hour days. Fame seems to breed exhaustion.
The famous are not the only ones living truly tired lives. The Annals of Internal Medicine recently reported that 24% of people surveyed complained of fatigue that lasts longer than two weeks. Fatigue is now among the top five reasons people call the doctor.
Is this something new -- something that’s unique to the nanosecond 90’s? Not really. George Washington used to disappear for months at a time to nurse his nerves. But, even if it’s not new, exhaustion is real. Experts say the fatigue of the 90’s -- the kind that a weekend’s rest can’t cure -- is more widespread than in the past. We seem to move at a more rapid pace, driven by a staccato sense of time.
As a result, many people today feel tired and burdened by life. They feel like they’re just barely hanging on. Try an experiment sometime. When you ask someone how they’re doing, listen to their response. You’d be surprised by how many answer that question by saying, "I’m tired" or "I’m feeling overwhelmed" or "I’m exhausted." I feel that way at times -- and I suspect you do, too.
My parents are only a couple years from retiring -- they can’t wait! They’ve worked hard and are looking forward to the day when they no longer have to get up early and report for duty. Both of my parents deserve a break -- they’ve always given it their all. Jesus worked hard when He was on earth. The Bible tells us that He got weary and tired as well. But, He didn’t return to Heaven because He needed to rest or retire. No. If anything, Jesus may be more active now than He was when He was on earth. In particular, Jesus is seeking, or reaching out, to two different kinds of people today.
For those of you who are believers, Jesus is urging you to live your life totally surrendered to Him -- He wants you to bring your burdens to Him -- your tiredness, your exhaustion. Jesus is also actively seeking those of you who have not yet put your faith in Him. He longs to give you exactly what you’re looking for. That’s the whole reason He came -- and that’s what He’s doing right now. Luke 19:10 says, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
As we conclude our series on the "Case For Christ," I want to show you that Jesus has an answer for the overwhelmed and the exhausted. For our purposes this morning, I want draw your attention to a very profound statement that Jesus made. You have it printed on the bottom of your program:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my
burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
My outline is very simple -- I’m going to build it around four key words from this passage.
The first word is Come. As Jesus observes the weariness on people’s faces and the burdens they are carrying, He gives them an invitation. He wants them to come to Him. The word, come, literally means to "come here." Instead of continuing in their state of exhaustion and heaviness, Jesus wants them to come to Him for some relief.
Now, let me give you a little background. The people Jesus is talking to were trying to live up to a whole list of spiritual rules and regulations. These expectations were constantly reinforced by their religious leaders. They were burdened by a heavy load of responsibilities. As a result, they were fatigued and exhausted.