“Come to me!” Jesus cries out whilst the world lures us to stay earthbound. “I will satisfy your deepest longing” Jesus urges, whilst the passing pleasures of the world anaesthetise us to our deepest need to truly know and be known. Every sin is driven by a longing that has now been twisted, but which was placed within us to drive us to the Creator of our souls.
Do you feel weary, weighed down by the drudgery and burdens of life?
Hear now Jesus’ invitation:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
He does give us a yoke, but it is one designed for us, and one where he gives us the strength we need, and stands alongside us sharing the burden. Are you trying to do something he has never called you or equipped you to do? No wonder you are finding it so hard! Are you trying to do something he has called you to, but in your own strength, no longer conscious of the One who is standing alongside you, who has also yolked himself to you so that you will never be alone? Are you trying to run ahead of him, and finding the yoke is pulling you back?
Jesus calls us, to stop striving, and come to him to enjoy the rest that he alone can give.
Do you feel within you a deep thirst? A longing for something more?
Hear the call of Jesus reaching out to that longing in your soul:
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37)
“There must be more than this” are more than just the words of a popular Christian song. They are the cry of our thirsty souls which we try to drown out by pursing all kinds of other far inferior pleasures than that offered to us by the one who says ‘come and drink!’
Do you feel the fear of death despite your best attempts to deny it?
We spend most of our lives pretending that we are invulnerable, that we will go on forever. When someone lies on their death bed, they never really feel that their life was long enough: because we were built for eternal life. Jesus urges us to come to him, because he has the power to make us live for ever, and give us a fulfilled life in the here and now, saying “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Understand that coming to him is the ONLY way to be saved from the deadly peril we all face from the moment that we are born. Hear then Jesus’ warning to those who refuse to come:
You refuse to come to me that you may have life (John 5:40)
Jesus simply says,
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:14)
There is a glorious simplicity to true faith. When a child sees their parent come to collect them at school, they sometimes come running, and throw themselves into the arms of their waiting parent. That is what Jesus calls us to do. Come simply. Come with nothing to bring, except ourselves. Come forsaking all others, and all pleasures of this World.
Are you looking for a miracle?
Don’t seek a miracle for its own sake. Don’t turn Jesus into a heavenly slot machine to get your will. Instead, know that even as you come to Jesus, miracles can and do happen, not least the miracle of re-birth. When we hear the voice of Jesus calling us, it can indeed unlock the power of the supernatural:
Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29)
No wonder, the prophet, gazing throw the centuries dimly seeing the coming of Jesus prophesied this call:
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David. (Isaiah 55:1-3)
“The demand that we come to him is therefore like the demand of a father to his child in a burning window, “Jump to me!” John Piper
This series was inspired by the book What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper. Why not join me in reading through this book in 2018?
Don’t miss the rest of this series on The Commands of Jesus,
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