“Come to Me, (JESUS SAYS) 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 will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
We step into Matthew’s story as Jesus is addressing the crowds. Earlier in Matthew 11, Jesus received messengers from His cousin John the Baptist, in prison and wondering if Jesus is indeed the Messiah (spoiler alert: He is).
Then Jesus denounces the cities where He performed miracles because they saw Him and did not recognize Him.
Those near Jesus, who saw Him perform miraculous healing did not all believe and respond to Him.
So Jesus breaks into prayer:
“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
The wise and intelligent (religious leaders) couldn’t receive the things of God in the package of Jesus. Here in Matthew, Jesus is saying, “If you can’t see who Father is in Me, then you can’t see the Father.”
When Jesus talks about knowing His Father, He’s not talking about book learning, a life of studying about the Father.
He learned what His Father was like the way every child understands her parents: not by studying books , but by living His life with Him. Jesus learned what His Father was like by listening for his voice, and learning from him.
A son learns to be like his father by living in His father’s house, by growing up with him.
So as the Son, the One who best knows the Father’s heart, Jesus makes this invitation:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus is inviting us to come and learn. And the first thing we learn from Jesus is SONSHIP. This is the yoke of Jesus, the yoke of Sonship, of a dearly beloved child.
If I’m not functioning as one dearly beloved of the Father, then I’m not functioning out of the yoke of Jesus.
If our view of the Father doesn’t match up with the love demonstrated by Jesus, who said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”? Then we’re not functioning out of the yoke of Jesus.
I learned and am still learning to lay down the old yoke, my old ways of being OK in the world. And I am learning (slowly, day by day) to come to Jesus and let Him teach me the way of sonship, the way of the Beloved of the Father. I am learning to be a daughter. The way of the Beloved.
This is the way of rest. And it is good.
Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing my own lessons and thoughts from a Bible study I wrote with my friend Stacey and did with a group of (amazing) women last Fall. This 8 week study, The Call of Jesus, is available for free here or by clicking the “Free Bible Studies and Resources” link in my blog header. If you’re looking for a Bible study to do yourself or with friends this Fall, check it out!