Rest for the Weary

“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 (NIV)

Rest for the Weary

In chapter 11, of the book of Matthew, we can read the narration when John the Baptist has sent two of his disciples to ask the Lord Jesus if he has been the one who is to come. The Lord told John’s disciples to tell their teacher about what he has done and the miracles that he has performed. Then He speaks about the greatness of John the Baptist as a prophet and likens him to Elijah. He also speaks about the people who has hardened their hearts toward the Messiah and refuse to repent even after the mighty works He has done before them. They have closed their understanding to the knowledge of God. He says that the Father has hid those things from the proud and revealed them to those who trust God with child-like faith. The chapter ends with an invitation for those who are tired to come to Him to find rest.

I. The Fickle-minded Crowd

Jesus himself has been exhausted with questions that seem blind to obvious answer. In verse 17, “We have piped unto you, and you have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and you have not lamented”. The crowd seems exhausted too because they do not seem to find satisfaction for their own spiritual quest. The people could not grasp the spiritual event that is happening in front of them. They could accept their spiritual decay and they seem to want to see something more.

II. Child-like Faith

In verse 20, the Lord condemns the unfaithfulness of the people then in verse 25, He offers a prayer. He says that the Father has hidden the spiritual enlightenment to the prudent and has revealed it to children. The Lord is not against knowledge. He is speaking against those who absorb knowledge and bloat with conceit. What the Lord is looking for is simple trust, a child-like faith. A child-like faith is faith that trusts God in what is unseen or unsure in full confidence that God will act. Sometimes, people want to be sure. They want to see things clearly. Faith is not a riddle to solve but an action to express.

III. Invitation to Come

In verses 28-30, the Lord has given an open invitation to those who are weary about life. Burdens come in many different packages and we may easily get confused about so many things. Even John the Baptist has been confused. However, true faith listens without condition. Here the Lord invites us to lift up our burdens to God in exchange with His blessing. Here is an antidote for exhaustion: let us bring our pain to the Lord.

Digested from a sermon by: Rev. Orlino Veron, Administrative Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, July 3, 2011


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