March 26

Text: Matthew 11:28-30

 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." (NASB)

This was Jesusí invitation to people to be his followers.  First, be aware that he is inviting.  Though he will provide the benefits, it is the personís choice to be or not to be his follower.  Usually, the one providing the benefits selects the followers.  Certainly, he had special tasks that he wanted selected followers to do (the apostles are an example).  However, the man or woman who wished to follow his (Godís) values and teachings could choose to do so.  He would not reject anyone who wished to be a follower!

Second, be aware that there was a simple exclusion.  The person must understand he or she is spiritually tired and distressed.  In simpler terms, the person recognizes his or her spiritual need and is distressed by that need.  Jesus wished to provide relief to needy people!  There was no need for spiritual distress!

Why would anyone deny spiritual need?  Some wish to think they are in control of their lives.  Following Jesus involves rejecting that form of control.  Some wish to deny need beyond their ability to cope or produce resolution.  Following Jesus would destroy such denial.  Some do not trust Jesusí promise to produce relief.  His promises are empty, exaggerated claims.  It is impossible to follow him while not trusting him.  Some think Jesus is not the only way to God.  That was Jesusí claim in John 14:6.  Following Jesus would demand a re-evaluation of his identity.

A final thing to noteóthe promise is internal rest.  The promise will not eliminate all forms of control and responsibility.  However, the control and responsibility are doable and not spiritually destructive.

Suggestion for reflection: Why do you follow Jesus?  (Read John 7:37-44.)

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