“Come to Me”

“Come to Me” April 24, 2023

Jesus invites us, “Come to me.”  He wants to take our crushing burdens, and yoke us to himself!

Scripture:       

1 Samuel, chapters 28-29; Psalm 109; Matthew, chapter 11

Matthew 11:25-30 (NLT):

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!

My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Observations:

The last part of this passage is familiar to most Christ-followers, and for good reason.  All of us experience times when we feel crushed under the weight of the burdens we bear. We gladly embrace Jesus’ call to come to him for rest, and we’ve experienced that rest as we surrender our burdens to him.  But we can’t truly understand or experience that rest without understanding the first part of the passage.

First, Jesus prays, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.  What?  Why wouldn’t God reveal himself and his ways to those who seek him? Doesn’t the Bible say, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart?”  (Yes, it does; see Jeremiah 29.13, for example.)  But Jesus’ prayer doesn’t contradict that.  God hides himself and his ways from those who think themselves wise and clever.  When we think that we’re wise, we don’t bother to look for God; we think we know it all already.

God reveals himself to the childlike because they are the ones who are looking for him.  Children are naturally inquisitive.  How many times a day do you think a typical child asks a question? And when we ask God – when we seek him with all our heart – he answers us.  “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (James 1:5a, NLT).

Come to me

That is the context for Jesus’ call to for the weary to come to him.  We may be physically weary, but I think Jesus is talking more about those who are just tired of dealing with all of the stuff that life throws at us.  And all of us, no matter who we are or how others may perceive us, have to deal with that stuff!  Jobs, relationships, bills, illness, unexpected expenses, unexpected opportunities – all of these things, and more, contribute to the heavy burdens we all bear.  The burdens don’t have to be bad; sometimes, we have so many good things going on that we struggle to keep up.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Those burdens are part and parcel of life in this world. The question isn’t whether we carry them; the question is whether we will admit it.  Too many times, we try to put on the brave face and plod along – struggling under the weight but unwilling to acknowledge our struggle. That’s exactly when we need to hear Jesus say, Come to me.

Application:

We need to understand that Jesus doesn’t say, “Come to me and you’ll never have to do anything again.”  When we respond to the call to follow him, he calls us to join in the work of proclaiming the Kingdom of God. But what he does promise is that he will take away the crushing burden and replace it with his yoke and his burden.  My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. Satan loves to load us down with more than we can handle. He doesn’t care (at least at first) whether that burden is “good” or “bad,” so long as it weighs us down.  Once we’re weighed down, and we’re desperate for a way out, he’ll tempt us to find escape in things that will only enslave us further.

My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.  Jesus promises to replace the crushing burden with his yoke and his burden, which are easy to bear.  I think the reason that his yoke is easy to bear is that he yokes us to himself.  A yoke, after all, is an implement to join two animals together to enable them to share work.  When Jesus offers us his yoke, he connects us to himself – and he enables us to carry the burden with his help.

My Father has entrusted everything to me.  God wants us to recognize that when Jesus offers us his yoke, he does it with God’s approval and authority.  Being yoked to Jesus ensures that we stay right where we need to be, in God’s purpose for our lives. What an awesome promise!

Prayer:

Father, thank you for reminding us that everything Jesus does in our lives is with your authority and your blessing. Thank you for enabling us to be yoked to Jesus! What a blessing you give us to know that Jesus has joined us to himself, and that the burden he gives us is light.  Help us to surrender the heavy burdens that we carry – the load that Satan wants to pile on us – and take Jesus’ yoke upon ourselves.  Thank you for Jesus’ call to “come to me.”  Amen.

 

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