Matthew 11:27-30. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all 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.”
Come to me all who are heavy laden. Burdened. Weighed down.
Does Jesus’ great invitation extend to you today? Do you fit into this category? Do you feel inadequate? Are you weighed down with guilt? Are you discouraged? Do you keep failing over and over? Keep giving in to temptation? Do you fall short of any or all standards that are placed over you each day? Are you just plain exhausted?
If your answer to these questions is “No,” then you can stop reading now and go about your day.
But if your answer is “Yes!!” then there is good news for you today. Jesus wants to give you rest. Refreshing. Quietness. A deep soul filling ahhhhhhh.
But how? What exactly is Jesus inviting us into? Our answer comes from Christ’s declaration that precedes his invitation – All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Jesus is describing his own deep union with the Father. Only the Son knows the Father, and only the Father knows the Son. The Father has given all things to the Son. All his love. All his goodness. All his holiness. All his glory. Everything there is to know about God is found in knowing Jesus. There’s is an eternal relationship of deep rest. Of calm refreshment. Of soul satisfying shalom.
Now, if Jesus stopped talking at verse 27 we would all be left as outsiders looking in. The Father and the Son have this beautifully special relationship. They alone know each other intimately. Together with the Spirit, they are the ultimate cosmic clique.
But then comes the greatest invitation in history. Come join your life to Jesus, and in so doing, join your life to God. The Trinity is an open group. There’s room at their lunch table. All who come in humility may join. All who can admit that they are tired of laboring and in need of rest.
Jesus has come to us. He has taken up the yoke of our humanity. Our work. Our legal debt. Our guilt and shame. Our frailty. Our depression. Our loneliness. Our inability. He entered our chaos. Now, will we come to him, and enter his rest?
Union with Christ is union with the deep soul rest of Christ. Rest that comes from sharing his easy and light yoke.
But wait a minute. Isn’t a yoke a burden? Isn’t a yoke worn by work animals? Animals that plow fields? Yes it is. And, yes, we are all yoked to something. Something bigger and stronger than ourselves. Something weighty that determines the value of our lives. Something that we believe we are chasing as a dream to come true, but in reality we are bound to it as a slave. For most of us that “dream” becomes a burdensome yoke when it becomes something that we have produced (our plowed field). Because aren’t we only valuable when we produce?
But Jesus offers us a yoke of bondage to himself that is actually freedom. Freedom from the yoke of producing as our source of value. And instead, wearing the yoke of receiving. Like Christ, receiving all things from the Father. Everything our heart needs. All his love. All his grace. All his glory. And then trusting the leading of Jesus as we live yoked to his gentle and lowly heart of love.
“To live is Christ” is the rest and ease of being yoked to Jesus and his life. A yoke that brings us into the love of the Trinity where everything our heart needs is provided by the indwelling life of our gentle Savior. Ahhhhhhh.
What yoke are you carrying today? What are you trying to produce in order to find value?
You in Christ
Are you experiencing rest in Christ? Why or why not?
Christ in you
Is Christ’s gentleness flowing out of you lately? How could that happen today?
Playlist: Songs of Invitation.