Come to Me and Rest
25At that moment Jesus said:
My Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I am grateful that you hid all this from wise and educated people and showed it to ordinary people. 26Yes, Father, this is what pleased you.
27 My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so they can know him too.
28 If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. 29 Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. 30This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
“He came to his own and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:12). This brief statement summarizes what we have been reading about Jesus in this chapter in Matthew. Excuses abound but Jesus is not daunted by his unreceptive audiences. He turns to prayer and in these few verses we get a glimpse into his intimacy with the Father. Much of the resistance to his message of the kingdom have come from those who think they know better. For them Jesus doesn’t measure up, he lacks the credentials, “he is not as clever as we are.”In his prayer he thanks his Father that the things of the kingdom are not revealed to the “wise and understanding” sorts, but to children. The clever and self-satisfied are unacquainted with the posture of humility and receptiveness, both of which are needed to capture the message of the kingdom.
Jesus makes the remarkable claim that “no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” He is the door of entrance into the kingdom and to relationship with God. He follows up this claim with a warm invitation to all bent under the burden of law and life to find rest in him. His yoke is not the heavy burden of guilt and obligation – but a yoke of freedom and hope. His yoke is “easy” and his “burden is light”. The ease and lightness of the burden is rooted in the love found in Jesus and love we offer in return.
The rest that is present in our relationship with God through Jesus sustains us in and through the challenges and burdens of ordinary life. We can run and not be weary, walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Thank you Lord Jesus, that you are the One who ushers in the kingdom and discloses the Father to us. Help me to release the yokes that bind me and take the yoke you offer. I pray that you will enable me for this journey through your Holy Spirit.
John Franklin has served as Executive Director of Imago since 1998, a Toronto based initiative in support of Christians in the arts in Canada. He is linked with a large network of Christian artists across Canada and internationally through Lausanne and the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission. Prior to Imago he was a professor of philosophy at Tyndale College and has taught courses in theology and the arts at Toronto School of Theology. He publishes Imago's quarterly newsletter and an occasional online IMAGO Reflection.