Refreshment from Jesus

Mattthew 11:28, Refreshment from Jesus
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus goes on to present himself as one who has come to lift humanity’s burdens, including but not confined to the burden of sin. In contrast to the interpretations of the Mosaic law given by the scribes and Pharisees, his yoke is ‘easy’ and his burden ‘light’. This ease and lightness do not stem from a lowering of standards, but from the fact that mercy and love, rather than precise legal perfection, have become the supreme criterion. Twice in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus quotes the prophet Hosea to this effect : ‘What I (God) desire is mercy, not sacrifice’ (Hosea 6:6, Matthew 9:13, 12:7, also 23:23), for He has not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

The Spirit of Christ living within us gives us hope, that even in the midst of the trials of our times, Jesus is with us, sharing in our suffering, carrying us in ways that we may not yet even recognize. Let us pray that we, as the body of Christ in the world today, will have the courage and strength to carry compassionately all those who feel weighed down by the effects of the recent pandemic.