Come To Jesus
Read Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
How is the message of Jesus so different from any other religion?
Somedays, my to-do list is absolutely exhausting. It feels like there is always something that I need to get done or someone who expects something from me. Can you relate? Do you ever just long for some peace and rest?
In today’s verses, we see that peace and rest is exactly what Jesus promises to people like you and me. Do you work hard? Come to Jesus. Do you have heavy burdens to bear? Come to Jesus. In Him, you will find the rest your soul is longing for.
I’ve learned a lot about other religions and worldviews over the years and I haven’t found one that promises what Jesus promised—rest. Instead, I’ve found a long list of things I have to do and a long list of things to never do if I want any hope of heaven or paradise after I die. From diet restrictions, to alms and donations, to pilgrimages, to chants to repeat at certain times of the day, to volunteering, sacrifices, holy days, and of course, trying really hard to “be a better human. Plus, in order for my good to outweigh my bad, I have to work even harder every time I mess up and sin—which is often. If I followed those faiths, I’d constantly be on the hamster wheel of self-improvement and good works. Thankfully, I didn’t choose the hamster wheel—I chose Jesus. I accepted His invitation to go to Him and find rest for my soul.
Remember, Jesus was talking to the Jewish people. They were used to the hamster wheel. They had to work to keep the law and had to make sacrifices to cover their sins. The law was a heavy burden. To make matters worse, the Pharisees made the law even more complicated and more burdensome for people by adding man-made tradition to the law. They even complicated the day the LORD had commanded them to rest by their legalistic attitude towards the Sabbath. That’s why in Mark 2:27-28 Jesus reminded the people that the Sabbath was given by the Lord to be a blessing to man and give them an opportunity to rest. But the Pharisees were even critiquing the Sabbath activities of Jesus, “the Lord of the Sabbath”!
Well, the Lord of the Sabbath knew the only way that we could experience true rest—we have to turn to Him. No amount of work can ever be enough to save our souls. He said that His burden is light and His yoke is easy because God did all the work! We can find peace and rest in the grace of God offered to us when we place our faith in Him for our salvation.
No matter how many good works we do, it will never be enough to restore our relationship with the Lord and earn our salvation. The apostle Paul made it clear in Galatians 2:16 that “a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
Friends, Jesus is the only One who promises rest for our souls from spiritual striving both here and in eternity. So get off the hamster wheel and stop trying to save yourself! Come to Jesus. He’s already done all of the work.
Jesus, thank You for doing the work that was required to save my soul on the cross. I know that I can’t find rest for my soul by any of my works but only through my faith in You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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