The Great Invitation

You may be familiar with “the Great Commission” found at the end of the book of Matthew. But recently I was reading the last part of Matthew 11, and thought it should be titled “the Great Invitation”.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 NIV

As I contemplated these words, I was struck by the turn of the two phrases that include the word rest. First Jesus offers a straightforward invitation of rest for the weary. He knows we need refreshment in Him. Then he offers a deeper draught of rest that is accomplished through joining with him, accepting his offer to balance the load we are carrying, as that is what happens when two are yoked together. Somehow I think we are getting the better part of this arrangement, as Jesus can bear so much more than we can. And in this learning environment, Jesus promises rest for our souls. As we plod along in this life he offers rest while we labor. It is an amazing paradox, that we can be refreshed as we serve along side of our Saviour, who has set everything straight so we can find rest in our very souls- our minds, our emotions and our will, even. May we accept his invitation with gladness and renewed desire to live out the lives he has arranged so skillfully for each one of us.

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