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Matthew 11:28-30 | Rest For Your Soul

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV): “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.”

1) Our souls long for rest

We as humans have a core longing for rest. It has been written upon our hearts to seek a peace that brings rest to our souls. In the passage from Matthew, Christ speaks directly to this longing within each of us--the reality that our souls were made to be still and have unity with God. But this reality shouldn’t be attributed to our conception of rest in terms of being lazy, or a mode of existence that we can manufacture. We can “rest”--from this perspective--all day on a couch, and still feel as restless as when the day began. In many ways, the Covid pandemic-shutdown taught many of us that, despite having all the time at home we could want, it did not produce contentment in that leisure. What we can then ascertain is that Christ is speaking about a rest of a different kind--a rest that cannot be artificially made or produced by any effort of ourselves.

To take this idea a step further, not only is the rest that Christ offers superior to the rest that we think we obtain for ourselves, it is also entirely unobtainable by our own abilities. Christ in verse 29 from the passage in Matthew isn’t saying “Take My yoke upon you, and you’ll have another way of finding rest among the many other ways.” No, Christ is saying that in Him, and Him alone, can we find rest for our souls. Jesus makes it clear: when we take Christ’s yoke upon ourselves and learn from Him, we find rest for our souls; if we don’t do this, then we do not find rest. The claim that Jesus is making is a very bold claim--something only God could make. But if we take a look at other parts of Scripture, we can see that God has always desired for us to find this rest.

2) God finished creation on the sixth day; on the seventh, He rested