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.”
Jesus discusses John the Baptist, pronounces judgment on unrepentant cities and thanks the Father for giving Him authority to reveal Him to people. Then He calls out to others, come to me. I will give you rest. This seems out of place, however if you look closely, Jesus is providing a safe place in an environment of turmoil.
No one wants bad news. No one wants to discuss judgment. No one wants to discuss commitments made to God that are later broken. No one wants to discuss the theology of Jesus choosing who to reveal the Father to and who not to. Yet each of these topics are discussed in this chapter by Jesus. However, He doesn’t leave the listener or the reader there. He provides a better way, a way out of the mistakes, turmoil and coming judgement… Come to me.
A few things…
-God judges unrepentant sinners. There is no getting around this or ignoring it. It is not healthy to act like this is not true. This must motivate us to tell the world about Jesus. Jesus calls cities, entire cities out by name. In today’s world our cities could be inserted for the ancient ones. (I must not forget that unrepentant sinners are judged.)
-Jesus chooses who the Father is revealed to. (vs. 25-27) I only have a problem with this if I don’t trust Jesus. From a theological standpoint, do I feel more comfortable with people’s vision and reception of God being shaped by them or by God. Do I trust the mysteries of heaven to be revealed to man by God Himself or by our ability to understand on our own. The truth is mankind, including me, has a hard enough time understanding physical realities that are tangible and right in front of us. How much more difficult to grasp spiritual realities on our own. (We need Jesus to see the Father)
-Jesus both points out the problem and provides the solution. Sometimes I get uncomfortable with the hard truths of Jesus. Judgment, shaking dust off of feet, cutting down the tree, throwing it in the fire, etc. are all hard to hear. But Jesus’ truth is necessary. I need to know the severity of the problem in order to fully embrace the solution. I need to understand the reality of the danger in order to fully embrace the rescue. Jesus offers a way out of the trouble. “Come to me and I will give you rest.” He doesn’t simply spit truth and walk away. He provides a way out through grace. He offers a close relationship in which we can learn from Him, trade in our burdens for His light yoke and draw near to His gentle heart. The mystery of heaven is the great grace and truth of God. He is both my judge and my defense. My warning and my rescue. He is truth and grace fully at the same time. I need both truth and grace. The world needs both truth and grace. (As I follow Him I must embrace both and share both with the world.)
I find rest for my soul in you today. I trade in the burdens of my life today and take on your light yoke. I want to learn from you today. Thank you for your gentleness with me Lord.