Verse 28: Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
· What does it mean to rest in God?
· What does rest in God feel like?
· Is it different than our own meditation, quiet time?
Yes! Most definitely!
Rest in God is renewing, peaceful, loving, tender, compassionate...other worldly.
It is what we yearn for when we are bone-weary: the all-encompassing drain we feel physically, mentally, emotionally, in our relationships and in our solitude. It feels like life is pushing down on you. There is no break. No time.
Once again (and still), God breaks into time. That breaking in does not end the causes of our weariness. When God breaks in, God joins us. God comes along side. God shares the weight of the burden.
Verse 29: 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.
A yoke is an instrument to distribute weight so the work load is shared. Mostly we picture a yoke on beasts of burden. When yoked together, they must work in unison.
Jesus invites us to share his yoke. Jesus does not say, “Find someone else to help you” or “I will take away your pain.” Jesus says, “I will share your load. You are not alone. I will be right here, next to you…easing your pain.”
Just preceding this passage, Jesus calls his disciples. He tells them life as his followers will not be easy. They will be persecuted. They will not always be welcomed. In fact, people may push back at them and the message! Jesus reassures them he is with them helping to bear the weight they carry.
Verse 30: For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
This verse is among some of the most misused of Jesus words. Jesus is not saying that if you believe in him, life will be easy. That somehow, we earn an easy life by being faithful. That is not the promise.
The promise is that Jesus is with us, breaking into the realities of life. Jesus’ words give hope to the bone-weary. Life presses in on all of us. Jesus' promise is for you and me, for us.
With Jesus’ yoke, we do not struggle alone. We come to Jesus and receive gifts of the mystery of God – peace, grace and rest.