“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.” (Matthew 11:28–30 NIV)

The words of Jesus from Matthew 11:28-30 are beloved by all who believe in him. They should be.

Have you read what led up to Jesus saying these words?

At the beginning of Matthew 11, Jesus answered a question sent to him by John the Baptist, who was in prison. John wondered if Jesus was the One or if someone else would be the Messiah. In talking about John the Baptist, Jesus spoke of how the people of his day could not be pleased and would not believe. They rejected John for being too stern and rejected Jesus for being too eager to be a friend of sinners. This led Jesus to speak some harsh words against cities in Galilee that rejected him. He said that Sodom and Gomorrah, the godless cities destroyed by fire from heaven in Genesis, would find Judgment Day more bearable than the cities that rejected Jesus. That’s harsh!! Then, Jesus thanked his Father for the faith that lived in his disciples.

Then suddenly the words of Matthew 11:28-30 came out of Jesus’ mouth.

Of course, we rightly find rest in the forgiveness of sins that Jesus freely gives to all who believe in him. These sins make us “weary and burdened,” but his grace comforts and renews us.

But aren’t we also burdened, as Jesus was, by the unbelieving world. So many reject him and openly live contrary to his will. Aren’t we, like John the Baptist, burdened by doubts as the events we see around us do not match up to our expectations? Doesn’t the relative “doom and gloom” of most of Matthew 11 match what we see going on in a sinful world?

Jesus’ words thunder to those who live in this sinful world. In him is rest. No, the problems of life may not disappear – his “yoke” may not (will not!) go away. But in the midst of whatever today brings or tomorrow threatens, “you will find rest for your souls” in Jesus. His love has not stopped and will never stop. His plan for you, carried out when he died and rose for you, is that you be with him forever in heaven. You may face burdens today, but by faith, you know the rest of a Savior who will not leave you. Trust in him and know the true rest that your Lord wants you to have.


Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling