I decided to read through the book of Matthew as a way to prepare for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. My attention was drawn to a well-known passage of scripture that I admittedly tend to gloss over because of its familiarity. I couldn’t gloss over it this time though. The Words of the Lord were penetrating me.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all 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 weary souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Often times I think I have read this verse from a somewhat self-centered place. “Yes Lord, I am weary, give me rest!” What struck me though was where he says “learn from me, for I am gentle and humble….” I’ve not taken seminary classes and I’m no theologian but I read that and thought “when I am weary and need rest the answer just may lie within my learning how to be gentle and humble in heart like Jesus.”
Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
I love my big red dictionary. Humor me 😉
Humble: 1. Having or showing feelings of humility rather than of pride (an excessively high opinion of oneself; conceit; arrogance.); aware of ones shortcomings; modest; meek. 2. Showing deferential (courteous) respect. 3. Lacking high station; lowly; unpretentious.
It’s hard to admit but I acknowledge that pride runs deep. Sometimes I don’t even know it’s there but it is! It’s important for me as a woman, wife, and mother to intentionally cultivate a humble spirit. Jesus goes on to say “you will find rest for your weary souls.” I utilized my study Bibles notes and references 😉 and was lead to these passages.
Jeremiah 6:16 “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Psalm 119:165-166 “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, O Lord, and I follow your commands.”
What I find interesting is that the solution to my weariness is not found by being taken out of my circumstance. Jesus is the solution. Me seeking him, his ways, his likeness, that is where I will find rest for my weary soul. Verse 30 Jesus says “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Again, my study Bible directs me to these two scriptures:
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
1 John 5:3 “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,…”
This is not about being legalistic. Genuine obedience brings freedom, not bondage. My notes indicate that the people’s “weariness” may have been the result of the Pharisees insisting on a strict adherence to the law. Galatians 5:4-6 “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Keeping a set of rules does not impress Jesus one bit. Trusting Him enough to love those with whom He has allowed us relationship is the pleasing thing to Jesus. Our obedience should be driven by “what is the loving thing to do?” Scripture tells us His commands are not burdensome. They are for our benefit! When we delight in and obey the Lords commands they have the ability to bring us rest.
A lot of times when I write a blog post I will ask a trusted outsider to read it beforehand. I want the accountability and I appreciate the honest feedback. I call them my “editors”. Of course they graciously do this pro bono for me. 😉
Often times in their proofing they will give me treasures of insight and wisdom. My dad was my editor on this particular post. “The people lived lives that wearied them for any number of reasons. The answer of the religious leaders was honor God by keeping the law. Jesus said, ‘come learn from me. Your release from the weariness and difficulty reside in the liberty found in the Law of Love.’ Obedience to Christ is release from bondage.”
We’re not so different than this people group. We get weary for many reasons. And I know I sometimes look to Jesus for complete relief of life’s heavy loads. I think more often than not Jesus wants us to look to him so he can reveal to us how we, through his power, can respond better to chaos. I think our relief and rest comes out of a heart of obedience. Obedience cultivates trusting in the Almighty God. Trust reduces our worrying over what we cannot control. And that is the yoke Jesus wants us to carry.
Come to Jesus.
As I finished up this post I felt prompted to attach a song to it because it was just so appropriate. So this is a Melodious Monday: Special Edition. 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2zhf2mqEMI