Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 11:28
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Jesus is here giving a word of encouragement. He started this by giving thanks to His Father. “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.” Matthew 11:25-26. First He thanks His Father for hiding His message from the wise and revealing it to the infants. What is meant here by the wise are those who think themselves wise and intelligent, those being the Scribes and Pharisees who refuse to submit to the righteousness of God (Salvation by Christ), to follow the righteousness they themselves have established. They knew of the coming Messiah, and if He did not fit their rules and beliefs, then they wanted nothing of Him. However, it was revealed to the infants, those who were the simple-hearted people who submitted to be instructed and saved in the way God intended.
In those day’s things were hard for many people. And this was especially hard for the poor and weak in society. Much of the leadership in both Rome and Israel were more often concerned with how to benefit themselves rather than others. This placed a lot of stress on the hearts and minds of the people. Jesus put it this way in a later chapter, referring to the leadership. “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.” Matthew 24:5. In other words, they placed rules and burdens on the people they themselves are unwilling to carry, unless of course they were to be seen. “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.” Matthew 23:5.
Now, where the Jewish leadership placed burdens on the people, God takes them away and gives them rest. Sinners who are burdened and wearied by their iniquities, are invited by Jesus to come to Him to have their sins removed. Those burdened with crimes who now are penitent can go to Him and receive an instant pardon from the sins they have committed. Believers who are caught in a pattern of temptation, oppressed by the remains of their carnal thoughts can go to Him and find rest. All are invited to go to Him and find rest. Jesus put it this way. “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33. We will all go through difficult times, but Jesus promised us that we are to be courageous and strong, for He has overcome the world.
Let us always remember we are never alone when we trust in Christ. We can always go to Him and He will give us the rest we need. Call on Him, He is always ready to meet our needs in the midst of any struggle.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.