Faith: The heaviest burden
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 you souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Two weeks ago I traveled to the Los Angeles area to attend The Shepherds Conference, which is held every March at Grace Community Church where John MacArthur has been the pastor for as long as I have been alive. The conference was wonderful, as it always is and is something, which I always look forward to.
The first morning as we were preparing for the first session to get started, a fellow brother of Christ from the Kansas City area and I got into a discussion about the state of the world and churches’ complete misunderstanding of the gospel. My use of the world “gospel” here probably causes some confusion for some. As we were talking, we landed on the above passage that is cited in this article.
In the environment of our culture today, what passes for the gospel, or the good news about Jesus Christ, mostly falls on deaf ears. The reason for this is that most people today, and by most people I include those who regularly attend church, have no real Biblical concept of God. One of the pieces of evidence of this is the massive misunderstanding of the this passage. Most people think that Jesus came to solve all their problems. Most people think that Jesus is very concerned about their life and that they be happy and successful. But Jesus really doesn’t care if I’m happy. What He does care about is whether I am holy.
So what exactly is Jesus talking about when He says in verse 26, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”? When most read this verse they assume that Christ is going to “give (them) rest” from all of their problems and issues. To the social justice warrior, this verse means that Jesus is the social justice Jesus and He is going to right every wrong and injustice in the world. But that is not what our Lord and Savior is talking about. Jesus is talking about relief from our greatest burden, which is sin.
The problem is not just that most people believe they aren’t really all that bad and that therefore they aren’t sinners and they don’t need Jesus’ help. The problem is they do not understand that God is a holy God. That means that He is absolutely perfect. Matthew 5:48 says, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Because God is holy this means that He cannot and He will not tolerate sin. To take it a step further, He cannot have fellowship with those who are sinners. The problem for us then is that we are all sinners. If you have never repented of your sins and placed your trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior, you as of this moment have no relationship with God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So, sin is mankind’s greatest burden.
Our sin is what we need rest from because it is our heaviest burden. This is why Christ says here in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Most people spend their entire lives trying to fill their lives with something that will give them “rest” from that burden. But that pursuit is a vain pursuit. Only coming to faith in Christ gives us true “rest.”
We see this all over our world today, whether it be drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality or massive deception of transgenderism. All of those things, and much more, are sinful and all of them cause a soul great turmoil. This is why Jesus says that only in Him will “You find rest for your souls.”
What must we do then to be saved? What must we do to have peace with God? Jesus says in Matthew 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” If you have never repented of your sins and placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior I plead with you to do that today. I plead with you to find true peace, true rest in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Tim Adams is pastor/elder at Sovereign Grace Community Church of the Yampa Valley.
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