That moment when you look at a very familiar Bible verse and suddenly notice…
It’s such a well-known verse, and it sounds so nice and comforting – and it is, but…
What am I talking about? I’m talking about this thing that Jesus said, quoted in Matthew 11, verse 28:
It was verse of the day on the Bible app I’m using, and what I like doing with these is clicking “read full chapter” to see the context. Scrolling up on my phone I was hit by the verse right before this one, where Jesus says:
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”
It kind of drew the focus for me onto the beginning of this verse: “Come to Me” – the invitation is not just to some kind of optional extra that will make your life more pleasant, it’s an invitation to come to the One who is the only way to God!
Just before this he’d been talking very harshly about those who don’t repent. And now he’s speaking of the good news – if you repent and turn to God through Jesus, you can have true rest: in the next verse he says, “Take My yoke upon you… and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus offers us rest for our souls, and this is not just good news, it’s wonderful news! but it’s up to us to come to him, to accept his yoke – his lordship, his authority over our whole lives. In submitting to Jesus we find true freedom – freedom from the slavery to sin, freedom to live our lives in intimate relationship with our Creator, freedom to live according to the Maker’s instructions rather than trying to do things our way and failing and failing and failing…
That’s where you can find true peace, real rest for your soul, the end of striving. Knowing that God loves you and accepts you just as you are, warts and all – that you don’t have to do anything to earn his love, you don’t have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and somehow make yourself good enough – because Jesus has taken the punishment for all your sins, once and for all, so once you accept him you’re ok with God forever! That’s where true peace comes from.
The offer is open to all.