Jesus Gives True Rest
“25 At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” NKJV
Life at times seems complex. It can be a jungle. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of life’s worries and concerns can create overload. We might feel tossed and turned by the events of the day. There is an ever increasing number of decisions that we have to make and often these are made on the run. The input that comes across our paths and desks seems limitless. We get SMS’s on our phones, we text, have to deal with the internet / emails, phones as well as deal with paper work, demands and people. Sometimes this degree of input can cause overload – a meltdown if you like where we might then spiral into thoughts of helplessness, hopelessness, self-pity, defeat, anger, frustration, hurts and thoughts of being a failure, worthless and valueless. We succumb to too many demands and feelings of thwarted goals – or goals not achieved nor achievable.
This sort of NOISE in our life can be destructive. It causes us to take our eye off the things of real importance and in turn is responsible for secondary effects. For instance we might have -
Thoughts of bitterness and hatred, injustice and revenge.
Thoughts of lust, greed, indulgences, wickedness, freedom.
Thoughts or obsessions, rituals, secrecy, hiding, plotting, competition, comparisons, exploitation, superiority.
Thoughts of guilt and shame, unresolved guilt, remorse, not accepting forgiveness, uncertainty.
All these thoughts lead to feelings of heaviness, feelings of being burdened, feelings of being weary or feeling overloaded. This in turn affects our spiritual life. If we are God centred then our souls are not noisy for if we are God centred we are provided with rest.
Christ gives us peace, He takes care of our troubled heart, He is our comforter. He stops our heart from being afraid. We read in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” NKJV
Peace I give unto you / Let not your heart be troubled.
What does it mean – not as the world gives do I give to you?
[Not as the world giveth] Not as the Jews, in empty wishes: not as the people of the world, in empty compliments. Their salutations and benedictions are generally matters of custom and polite ceremony, given without desire or design; but I mean what I say; what I wish you, that I will give you. To his followers Jesus gives peace, procures it, preserves it, and establishes it. He is the author, prince, promoter, and keeper of peace. (from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
The Lord gives without reservation to those who choose to follow Him. He gives peace, He wants our hearts to be untroubled, He wants us to be unafraid. He does ask us to come to Him. He says “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
This is not a passive exercise. It demands that we take action and come, come to Him. We have that choice and it is a choice that was worked out through the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. Jesus has gone to the great length of making Himself the sacrifice for our sins, so that we can receive forgiveness of our sins. He gives us Peace, He gives us rest from our burdens.
The Noisy souls are self absorbed souls. They do not easily let go of their burdens. Often it appears that they do not want to let go. For example some still have to deal with unforgiveness. Despite knowing that the Lord has gained forgiveness of our sins through His work on the cross, we often see people who keep going over their past indiscretions without really accepting that they are forgiven through the work done on the cross of Calvary. They will continue to have this burden, their burden, haunting them.
Dangers of such noise in the soul
The feelings and thoughts that we have that are not God centred can be physically destructive , they can be unhealthy, stressful and cause stress related illness, headaches, gastrointestinal illness and depression to name a few. We may have an overactive autonomic nervous system with outpouring of adrenalin. This in turn can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure leading to cardiovascular disease, GIT illness, autoimmune system failure and sleep disorders.
Such noise can affect the fruit we bear. Noisy souls do not bear much spiritual fruit. The Lord honours the fruit that he produces himself through us.
Gods cure for noise in the soul
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” NKJV
Come unto me – restore the relationship with Christ. Learn of me.
We are to be in fellowship with Jesus Christ. He asks us to come and restore our relationship with Him.
Fear, worry, stubbornness, lust, hatred and bitterness are all unbelief. We cannot have fellowship with Jesus Christ without trusting Him. Trusting Him means we need to jettison such feelings that lead to unbelief.
Come to Me, all you who are labour and are heavy laden.
All you who labour. To labour is to do hard work, it’s the work that causes us to feel worn down, weary, struggle to the task. It can cause us to feel beat up. The New American Standard Bible says in Matt 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” NASU
To be weary is a feeling that describes tiredness especially as a result of excessive exertion. Synonyms: tired, worn out, exhausted, fatigued, sapped, burnt-out, spent, drained, worn to a frazzle, pooped. To be heavy laden is to be burdened. These are the people that the Lord directs to “come unto me.” These are the ones that He directs that He will give rest to. The Lord then goes on to tell us to “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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Jesus was lowly in heart. As believers who identify with Christ we too must take on the Lords characteristics and be lowly of heart – having all humility.
We are also told to take His yoke upon us. Yokes were made by carpenters (Jesus was a carpenter) and the yoke would be fitted to the oxen and shaped, fitted and refitted to ensure the yoke did not cause abrasions on the animal. If a yoke fitted well it would be comfortable, not cause abrasion and this may take a number of fittings before the carpenter would have it perfect for that oxen. A yoke would spread the load and make it easier for the oxen to pull their load. It was light and easy to wear.
Jesus tells us that He will teach us: “Learn from me…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.”
All the effort and hard work that have been involved in doing a particular piece of work.
An Invitation to Abundant Life
55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you.” NKJV
The Value of Wisdom
1 My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 8 He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path. NKJV
Come unto me is an invitation. Have we accepted that invitation? Life is not meant to work without God. We must see ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ. We must be obedient to His directions and leadings.
A Call to Worship and Obedience
“95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanks giving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. 4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. 5 The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 "Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” NKJV