In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus calls out to us with an invitation for us and also makes declarations about Himself. From this passage, we see some principles about rest: we can participate with Him, we get to practice rest, rest is a posture, and rest is potent.
“So everyone, come to me! Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Passion Translation)
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus calls out to us with an invitation for us and also makes declarations about Himself. From this passage, we see some principles about rest:
We can participate with Him,
We get to practice rest,
Rest is a posture,
And rest is potent.
Jesus Himself invites us to draw near to Him when he says; “Come to me!” In this passage, Jesus repeats Himself, which is a notable emphasis. This invitation isn’t exclusive and it is as conclusive as His declaration: “I AM your oasis” (vs. 28, emphasis added). Because this is an invitation to a lifestyle it means that we have the potential to pass it by. We can bury ourselves in busy and burden or we can hibernate in refreshment and rest. While the reality of rest cannot be changed by our participation, the manifestation of rest can be keenly adjusted due to our acknowledgement. According to this passage in Matthew, we are welcome to choose freely to participate with Him.
Jesus indulges us with instruction for how we can rest in life: “Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways…” (verse 29). To practice rest is to identify the intervals of life that need the prevailing truth of victory and triumph we have in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14). To practice rest is to make the Savior bigger than the circumstances, to exaggerate the kingdom of heaven (if possible) and minimize the kingdom of this world, and to remember His steadfast Presence with us and within us. The art of practicing rest unlocks our minds to remembering God’s vast goodness.
“Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7
Jesus illustrates that rest is a posture for you and I, as believers. It is IN Him (Matthew 11:30). The New Testament is rich with narratives that our lives tucked in Christ in God (Colossians 3:3-4), and our beings are temples of Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). We find rest IN Him. In the Psalms, King David, puts it this way “Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him…” Psalm 37:7 (AMPC). We posture ourselves confidently, as heirs, in His presence, while also recognizing the rest that comes when we realize we are never more than a breath away from His Life.
Rest is potent. It is promised to us, “You will find refreshment and rest.” Our Creator God kept sabbath amidst His workings. He didn’t need filling up, He overflows with grace upon grace (John 1:16). Abba Father practiced the potency of the pause. Peace brings the prevailing. In Mark 2:27, Jesus continues to emphasize the potency of rest for the intervals of life: “Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” There are needs we have that get fulfilled when we participate, practice and posture ourselves within the Rest bestowed upon us and before us.
The verses before Matthew 11:28-30 are a revealing context that foster the habitat for Rest:
“Yes, Father, your plan delights your heart, as you’ve chosen this way to extend your kingdom - by giving it to those who have become like trusting children. You have entrusted me with all that you are and all that you have. No one fully and intimately knows the Son except the Father. And no one fully and intimately knows the Father except the Son. But the Son is able to unveil the Father to anyone he chooses.” Matthew 11:26-27 (The Passion Translation)
The invitation to rest becomes intimacy with the Father. As a child linked to their Father God; with unveiled face we can know Him and be known by Him.
Thank you Father for your presence that brings rest. Thank you for your consistent invitation to participate in your fullness. Thank you that you guide us and lead us in practicing what you demonstrated, Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit for administering the potency of rest and peace within us. We invite an awakening to the grander levels of this Truth, so that our lives are riddled with the habit of leaning on you. Amen.