Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
– Matthew 11:28
Reading through the whole chapter of Matthew 11, it’s clear there’s a lot of esoteric language that means a lot more than I’m picking up on this morning. But this particular verse is one of the most commonly used passages to offer comfort to hurting people. It makes me wonder what he means exactly by “come to me”. Obviously, before you follow someone, you must go to them. But to take up their burden with them, you’d be following them. Also, next to Jesus, what kind of burden could we possibly have that is heavy by comparison? Is it salvation by works? Or is he specifically addressing laborers and slaves? Are they the children he’s been using in his analogy this whole time, contrasting them to the scribes?
Even in this popular verse, there is a lot of unknown, and its context seems to be talking about very different things.
What I’m hearing is that securing my own righteousness is a weight I can’t carry. Every time I catch myself trying to pick it up again, Jesus welcomes me to come back to him to exchange my laboring for his finished work once again.
Thank you, Jesus, for inviting me to come to you time and time again. When I look to my own righteousness for salvation, help me remember and trust that you’re ready to absorb my righteousness and let me rest in yours. I have everything I need in your past labors, and all my future is carried in grace, not religiosity or striving. Thank you for reminding me of this today.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.