27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matt 11:27-30 (NIV)

Wouldn’t it be lovely – or at the very least realistic and truthful - if in lieu of either Satan or self luring us into sin - armed with the “apples” of enticements and excitements - we would instead be shown the difficulties resulting from bearing the burdens – both the guilt and the power - that that one bite brings. Sin always stings. Just as the cream sold which promises youth in a jar, or the fad diet which promises to melt our thirty pounds of excess in a flash, or the promises we receive in the mail that we are the winner of some major jack, the promises of Satan will always disappoint – to say the very least. Watch out for his traps. He has been a liar from the beginning – no truth has been found in him. Jesus tells us in John:

44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 (NIV)

Conversely, all the promises of Scripture are “Yes” in Christ – Hallelujah!

20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Cor 1:20 (NIV)

We would also do well to remember that every sin carries with it a death sentence if one is honest and willing to play it out to the end. Just as there are always blessings in obedience - eventually, there are always consequences to sin - eventually. Paul tells us in Romans that the mind of sinful man is death yet the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace:

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8 (NIV)

In our verses for today our Lord lavishly woos us to “Come to me”. He makes no distinctions – He includes anyone willing to rid themselves of the way of sin and death to embrace the righteousness and life He so graciously offers. It is a free invitation to every weary sinner made by Him who alone is able to take away the load and guilt of sin. Sounds like a no-brainer to me! Nearness to God one is always the happiest. The only way of rest is the Way of repentance and faith. Repose is offered to every soul who willingly takes Christ’s yoke upon their shoulders ridding themselves of the yoke of sin. Do not be deluded about this fact; humans will always be yoked to something. This invitation that Jesus holds out to us is as a golden scepter that we may touch and live. The rest Christ promises is the relief from the drudgery of sin and its consequences - not a rest from the service of God. It is not a promise that we will never experience trials or tribulations rather it is a promise that He affords us peace and purpose through them.

“Come, therefore, to him, O sinner, with all thy load of sin and misery, and he will in no wise cast thee out, but receive thee gladly.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

Lastly, we must come to Jesus as our Teacher and prepare ourselves to learn from Him at His feet. Christ has invited us to be His scholars. We must enter ourselves and attend the instructions He gives through His Word illumined by His Spirit. We must learn from Him that we may know Him – we must press on to know Him for He is not only our Teacher and Guide but He is our Way as well as our All. Being gentle and humble, Christ stoops to teach us – supplying mere milk for babes as well as solid food for those ready. Understanding finds rest in the knowledge of God and Christ Jesus and one is abundantly satisfied as with the richest of fare. Perhaps that is why Paul vehemently proclaimed in Philippians:

10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:10-14 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • Satan is the father of lies who seeks to destroy. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)
  • Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. John 14:6-7 (NIV)
  • Every sin carries with it a death sentence.