Rest for Your Souls

September 3, 2023   /   Faith Alliance Church

Rest

 

Entangled / Matthew 11:28–30

 

Jesus calls us to rest from our toil, and to find our life and meaning in Him.

• We have been talking about all of these heavy things. These things we have been carrying, holding onto. Trying to balance

We are all in need of balance. Not about balancing scales, putting the right weights on the right side of the scale. It is about balance by putting both your feet on the ground. to be balanced is to be supported.

Matthew 11:28–30 ESV

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.”

This morning we are going to break this verse into pieces and talk through the relationship that Christ is calling us to.

Come to Me

This is important to distinguish against all the other remedies the world offers.

But that is not what is happening here. Jesus is not the remedy for the sin of the world.

He is the replacement.

Revelation 3:20–21 ESV

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

This is important because we don’t want a God who can simply fix what’s wrong we want a God that relates to us. That eats with us. That sits with us.

All who labor and are heavy laden

This defines the kind of person that is invited to find Jesus. That is invited to come near to Him.

Anyhow who is defined as labor being the most descriptive thing about them. People who do nothing but labor are being coerced. Either by the Market or forced by someone else.

But this kind of labor is different. It is the labor and toil that leads to being heavy laden. Burdened. It is working all day and still feeling tired. There is no refreshing from toil. Because in it you are heavy laden.

and I will give you rest.

When we labor and can’t stop we are often being driven, coerced, by something. Usually something internal. Usually something that drives our optimized self.

When we come to Him we are offered rest.

The only way we can biblically talk about God’s rest is by seeing how He handles the seventh day of Creation

Genesis 2:1–3 ESV

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

The creation narrative is a narrative set against other ancient near eastern creation stories. But this one stands out.

God in Genesis 2 isn’t just resting because He’s tired He’s resting because He is ruling and and sustaining creation.

But the invitation is not just to see Him as Creator and sustainer but also to learn from Him.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me

• The yoke is the ability to direct and connect and animal to it’s work. Jesus is realigning the idea of what it means to have purpose, to work.

• When we follow Jesus we are always following the Master’s teaching and action.

Matthew 11 becomes an important centerpoint for the Christian.

• Because this passage is about invitation and challenge.

• If you are burdened and if you are toiling. If you are imbalanced. If you need to connect with Jesus because evrything else you have connected to hasn’t quite worked out, this is invitation. Come to me…

• But it is also challenge. Jesus takes up our burden and our toiling. But He doesn’t then send us off and say good luck. He tells us to connect with Him. To anchor to Him. To learn from Him.

for I am gentle and lowly in heart

• This is the nature of Christ. It is the one area where we hear Jesus talk about Himself explicitly.

• Jesus could have said anything about Himself. But He described Himself in 2 ways.

• 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.”

Jesus doubles down on what life with Him is like. It is not just that we are to connect our lives to Him but we are to cease toiling in Him.

• When we see what He is asking we trust that He is also changing us through His yoke.

• BEcause of His invitation, we grow in love

• Because of His yoke, we grow in holiness and integrity.

 

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