Jesus our Friend (Advent 20)

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labour 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.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus will give us restThese really are lovely words.

Sometimes we feel under pressure, stressed out, like we have so much to do. To those who “labour”, to those who are “heavy laden”, Jesus says, “come to me… and I will give you rest.”

Jesus promises to give us rest. That’s both rest in heaven in the future and rest now in this life.

When he says, “take my yoke upon you” he’s picturing the wooden thing they used to put on the necks of the cattle that would pull the ploughs across the fields. They used them to keep the cattle going in a straight line.

Now, when he says that, what he means is that when you feel like you are pulling heavy loads and carrying heavy burdens, like being a cow having a yoke on its neck pulling a plough, go to Jesus and replace that yoke with his yoke… “because my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

When we come to him, give ourselves to his service, what we find is that he is not a hard task master. He doesn’t weigh us down. Learn from him, for he is gentle and lowly in heart. He loves you. He cares for you. He understands you. He wants to get alongside you and help you. He wants to share your burdens with you. Ultimately he wants to share eternal life with you. In knowing him, and in serving him, “you will find rest for your souls.”

How do we come to him? In faith and in prayer. Pray to the Lord Jesus and tell him about all the things that weigh you down. Ask him to take away those burdens or to help you to carry them with his strength. He will help you, because he is the God who keeps his promises.

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