Come find rest and peace.

Matthew 11: 28-30 offers us a place of rest and peace, something very many people are looking for in a society where stress and stress-related conditions are rife. Back in Jesus’ day devout Jews sought peace and rest through striving to completely obey and follow God’s law, which was very demanding. In the process they became exhausted and frustrated. The apostle Paul was a prime example: a strict Pharisee, he had sought with all his heart and mind to follow God’s law but found that he just couldn’t, and therefore he never felt at peace with God. His physical desires kept leading him to do what he hated, and prevented him from doing what he wanted (Romans 7:14-25):

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Paul discovered that Jesus Christ the Lord was the one who could set him free to rest in God’s love and grace. No longer did he have to achieve peace and rest by his own efforts. Jesus had attained them for us through his death and resurrection. His life from then on became one of resting in his knowledge and experience of God’s love and grace. 

We are not Jews and most of us don’t spend our lives striving to fulfill
God’s Old Covenant law, but we are equally subject to stress in the Western
world, as we are pressured to achieve rest and satisfaction through
materialistic means: earn, earn, earn; buy, buy, buy. At the same time we
strive to be good citizens (most of us), and to ‘make a difference’ through
leaving the world a better place than we found it. It can all be exhausting
and it can make us ill. But 20 centuries later we hear Jesus’ offer again:
“Are you struggling to keep your head above water? Come to me. Are you
carrying a huge load? Come to me I’ll give you a rest. Pick up my yoke, and
put it on, I promise it will fit you really well. Take lessons from me, I’ll
be gentle with you. The last thing I want is to give you a hard time. Rest
is what you need, and you will have it. The load I’ll give you to carry is
The work Jesus gives us will be work that suits us – his ‘yoke’ fits really
well. The lessons that he gives us include living simply, keeping out of
debt, caring about others, remaining humble, trusting God for our daily
needs, forgiving as we are forgiven, plus a whole lot more.


Comments are closed.