“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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
Come – linked to Prophet Isaiah –
Isaiah 55:1 - "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Require a RSVP –
Who is invited?
ALL of you
Those who recognize they are weary from carrying heavy burdens
Those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired
Weary of the laws placed on them by religious leaders
Their own shame and guilt
Their emotional, mental and physical weariness of their circumstances
The context doesn’t really give us any idea what burden Jesus was talking about. The burden is whatever you are feeling that is wearing you down.
What will you receive?
Two kinds of rest:
1. A received rest –
a. Graced rest
b. In the words of John Lynch, pastor of Open Door Fellowship in Phoenix, it is the rest you receive on your worst day
i. Do you have worst days?
What do you do on your worst days?
You lean into the yoke
You go, Wow, that was close
You say, For by the grace of God go I
You exclaim, Whew, God came through
2. A learned rest –
a. A rest you are discipled into – word, learn, is the word for disciple.
i. The oxen had to be trained to wear the yoke; we have to be trained to live in the rest
b. A rest you are continually transformed by
c. A rest that is uncovered in the journey of following Jesus
i. You will find rest for your souls
ii. Rest that is experienced in a life of following Jesus
Final Word: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We trade our weary bodies, minds, spirits, hearts – our weary beings to take up a new mission, a new way of living, a new way of being.
Notice – this is not a yoke or burden of our own making
Come to me you who are weary from your burdens and leave them at the foot of the cross and pick up a new yoke which is a yoke that is matched with our Lord the master craftsman who makes a yoke that is perfectly fitted for us. Jesus never makes an ill-fitting yoke for us. His yoke fits perfectly.
Leave your heavy burden and pick up his light burden. Why is his burden light? Again it is a burden that is fitted for us. Jesus is not going to give us a 60 pound back pack when we can only carry a 30 pound back pack.
And it is light because we are not the only one carrying it. Jesus carries the burden with us.
What are you tired of today?
What are you sick and tired of?
Some habit that possesses you?
Some illness that cripples you physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally? Some ruminating thoughts that control your mind?
Some burden that you took on because you had to.
A burden someone else laid on you?
Hear the invitation again:
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Ronald Friesen © 2017 Delivered at Koininia Mennonite Church, Chandler, AZ, July 9, 2017