Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I sat in the stillness of a workday’s end, my laptop in front of me. I should’ve been exhilarated about the work I’d finished that day, but I wasn’t. I was tired. My shoulders ached with the load of anxiety over a problem at work, and my mind was spent from thinking about a troubled relationship. I wanted to escape from it all—my thoughts wandered to watching TV that night.
But I closed my eyes. “Lord,” I whispered. I was too tired to say more. All my weariness went into that one word. And somehow, I immediately knew that was where it should go.
“Come to me,” Jesus tells us who are weary and burdened, “and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Not the rest from a good night’s sleep. Not the break from reality that television offers. Not even the relief when a problem has been solved. Although these may be good sources of rest, the respite they offer is short-lived and dependent on our circumstances.
In contrast, the rest Jesus gives is lasting and guaranteed by His unchanging character. He’s always good. He gives us true rest for our souls even amid trouble because we know that everything is in His control. We can trust and submit to Him, endure and even thrive in difficult situations because of the strength and restoration only He can give.
“Come to me,” Jesus tells us. “Come to me.”
When your spirit is weary, where do you go for rest? How will you respond to Jesus, when He invites you to go to Him?
Heavenly Father, remind me that true rest is found only in You.
This is another passage where Jesus makes an exclusive claim about Himself: He, the Son, is the only way to God the Father. He said, “No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). Jesus’ words come after He’s been rejected in the towns of Galilee. The people had witnessed His miracles and heard His authoritative teaching, yet they refused to believe He was the Messiah. Despite this rejection, Christ extends an invitation to everyone: “Come to me, all you who are weary . . . . Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” (vv. 28–29). Jesus’ audience understood the farming imagery of a yoke. But what does the yoke represent? Bible scholar John D. Barry identifies it as Jesus’ teaching. Sin enslaves us, but obedience to Christ and His words brings freedom and peace.