Come…and I will Give You Rest – But Before You Do…

meadow with flowers - peace and rest

Come, all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you peace. Matt 11:28

Monday, I spoke about Sunday’s Gospel reading from Matthew Chapter 11 and about his line in particular:

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,

and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

And I gave a false impression. When we look at Bible verses such as this one, it is easy to fall for the simple, feel good sound bytes.

Come…and I will give you rest.

Monday, I said,

Jesus does not say, “Come, when you’ve finished the dishes…”

or “Come, after the kids’ homework is done…”

or “Shower first and then…and when you’re done come.”

No, Jesus simply says, “Come…and I will give you rest.”

And, while this is all true, there is more to what Jesus commands. When we look at just this one verse,

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,

and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

we do ourselves and our God an injustice. Instead of memorizing a sound bite, let’s look at the entire Gospel reading.

Gospel of Matthew 11: 25- 30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Matthew 11: 25-30

Did you notice the three parts?

The part about coming to the Lord and receiving rest are the final parts of this reading. While the Lord doesn’t care if your dishes are done or your kids have perfect homework, if you’re tall or short, fat or skinny, intelligent or not, He does care about bigger things.

First, Praise the Lord!

See the first thing Jesus does?

I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,”

Before we come to the Father, we must give thanks for where we are now!

Wow, give thanks for this???

Yep! The Bible also tells us to find joy in all thingsALL things!

Jesus, when He gave this talk, must have had some idea what was ahead for Him, and yet, even He gives thanks to the Father! Knowing this, what holds you back from praising the Lord for where you are now? You know that pit in your stomach? That breath you’ve been holding? Release them, and begin singing the praises of the Father who created you and Loves you completely!

Second, Understand Son & Father, Father & Son

Then there is the second part. Before we can come to the Father, we must learn about the Son. Here Jesus tells us very plainly:

No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

We must spend time in adoration of Jesus each day. When Catholics pray the Rosary, we do not pray to worship Mary. Each bead represents a piece Jesus’ life. Every day, we are called to reflect on His life. to grow closer to Him, to learn about Him, to act as He does, to speak as He does, to think as He does, to Love unconditionally as He does.

It is only through following Jesus that we can grow closer to the Father, and only through the Father that we can Come to Jesus.

Come…And I Will Give You Rest

And it is through this following of Jesus, that we are finally led to the words we long to hear:

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.

It is easy to dwell on the feel-good Bible verses, and we definitely NEED them. That is why Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, gave us those to hold on to, but if we memorize those verses out of context, we risk forgetting the Rock they are built on – the praising of the Lord and the following of Jesus even through tough times. We risk building our hopes on sand, and, when the sand shifts (which it will!) and things take a turn for the worse, we risk it all washing away.

That is a risk too great to take.

Memorize your Bible verses, but ground them in the Rock, the entirety of God’s Word.

Stop right now. Praise God for where you are. Take a few moments throughout the day to reflect in silence on Jesus’ life and ask how to better follow Him. Take time to listen, silently, patiently, for His response. 

You too can truly Come to the Lord and find His peace in whatever you face.

God Bless…
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3 Comments

  1. Lora on April 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I LOVE this post. It is so healing to STOP the whirling activity that we are in the midst of and PRAISE HIM! God bless you and your beautiful family.



    • Strahlen on April 26, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Thank you Lora. It is amazing what healing a little quiet time can bring. In this busy world, we all need more down time.



  2. […] join me Wednesday as I look deeper into Sunday, July 6th’s Gospel reading from the book of Matthew […]



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