MATTHEW 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labor 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.”
THEME OF THE DAY: THE GENTLE AND LOWLY CHRISTIAN. What strikes deep in the heart when reading today’s scripture? There are multiple things. First, the weariness we experience over our sin, failings, and the frailties of our fallen flesh – all who labor and are heavy laden. Then there is the astounding promise of Christ to settle our troubled hearts and racing minds with all in ourselves and the world causing unrest and sleepless nights of anxiety and stress – I will give you rest. Further on, we see the sure promise of “salvation rest” that will last forever – you will find rest for your souls. Nothing is more soothing to the conscience than the rest of forgiveness and the certain hope of heaven because of Christ’s forgiveness. But before all these wonderful works and promises of the Lord is how this portion of scripture opens. Here is the most thrilling truth that strikes deep in the heart of every weary believer. It is the invitation of Jesus – Come to me. But what is behind the invitation is a gentle and lowly Jesus extending it – for I am gentle and lowly in heart.
What is sweet music to the sin-burdened person? What is a soothing balm to a broken heart? What gives a glimmer of hope through a dark cloud of depression? What provides life meaning? What produces a contented life regardless of circumstances? It is the message of the Gospel from the gentle, lowly, and approachable Jesus. Is not that what captivated the crowd in the beginning of Jesus’ ministry? Put ourselves in the congregation. We are burdened, discouraged, broken-hearted, feeling hopeless, and frankly are struggling to make sense out of life. Maybe even ready to quit. Then, He comes into the scene. Let’s let Luke take it from here – And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son? (Luke 4:16-22).
And now the application. Two of them. First, personally. Jesus is approachable because He is gentle and lowly. You won’t be rejected. You won’t be abandoned no matter what; yes, no matter how deep in sin you may fall or how far down the prodigal trail you may go. He will restore you. Why? Gentle and lowly is our Jesus. Now the other application is pointed to others. Strive to let the gentle and lowly Jesus you know become the Jesus you share by being like Him. Many doors for the gospel are opened by our Christ-like conduct and no qualities more powerful to open those doors than the approachability of being gentle and lowly – like Jesus.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to not only proclaim Your Son but to represent Him well through my likeness to Him.”
QUOTE: “Gentle and lowly. That is our approachable Jesus and is to be likewise in His people.”
Because of Him,