Come ye weary

Christian and his burden, from Pilgrim's Progress
Christian and his burden, from Pilgrim's Progress

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

It is in light of both human sin and God’s sovereignty that our Lord gives this invitation. Our sin makes this invitation necessary; God’s sovereignty makes this invitation possible. Left to ourselves, no one would ever come to Christ. It is only those who by the grace of God have had their eyes opened to their miserable condition in sin that will take advantage of this gift of grace. It is those who know that they “labor and are heavy laden” who will see any reason to come to Christ.

And this invitation is so important for us to hear. For when we begin to see the ugliness of our sin and we begin to become tired and weary of our sins, it is precisely then that we begin to wonder if God will have anything to do with us. Many people get to this point in their experience and then spends months, if not years, spinning their wheels because they think that for Christ to accept them they have to be good enough. Now I do not want to imply that repentance is not necessary. But repentance does not merit God’s favor. Good works do not make you acceptable to God. Only Christ can do that.

Jesus does not tell you to clean yourself up first before you come to him. The hymn puts it so well: “All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of him.” Do you feel that you are a sinner? Then Jesus says, “Come unto me.” Are you tired of your sins? Then the Savior says, “Come unto me.” Do you feel powerless and helpless? Then our Lord says, “Come unto me and find rest.”

Our Lord then says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Coming to Christ is not an invitation to libertinism. You cannot come to Christ rightly unless you take his yoke. You cannot have him as Savior unless you also have him as your Lord.

And yet, the invitation to take his yoke is not an invitation to replace the bondage to sin with bondage to Christ. Sin’s bondage is a miserable one and its only reward is death. But our Lord’s service is sweet. Even as we take his yoke we find rest. Service to Christ is true rest; it is in him that we truly find our Sabbath.

It is my responsibility as well as a great and exciting privilege to invite you to Christ, to come and take his yoke. Sinner! Come to Christ and find rest!

By: Jeremiah Bass