Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28
A loud clanging and banging coming from my laundry room shattered the quiet peace of the morning. Our twenty-year-old washing machine was protesting fiercely under its heavy load. I hurried in and rearranged the clothes, trying to get the drum of the machine in balance, but to no avail. My washing machine was on overload. Having a large family, I occasionally pack more into the machine than it can handle properly — I push it to its limit trying to save time. However, today my rearranging didn’t solve the clanging and shaking, so I was forced to take out part of the load and set it aside to redo later. What I had thought would save me time ended up taking me more time than I had intended.
Does it ever seem to you that your life is so busy and burdened down with routine tasks that it is out of balance? Do you often rearrange schedules, appointments, and activities, only to find that your day is still overloaded? When a problem interjects itself into your pathway, are you able to stay calm and work smoothly through the situation? Or, do you find yourself caught off balance and frustrated?
The Lord wants us to unload our cares on Him. He brings the balance we need in our lives. He is the One who can keep us from whirling out of control when our day is filled to capacity. He is a sure place of rest and peace in our busy lives. Just as I was able to take half of the load out of my washing machine to deal with later, Jesus removes our burdens and takes care of them for us. With Him in control, there is no need for overload. We can relinquish them at His feet in prayer, and find stability and repose.
Today, God invites you to bring Him your troubles, your exhausted heart, your overworked hands, and your overloaded schedule. As you put them in His hands, you will find rest and balance, and the sustaining strength and grace that only He can give.
John the Baptist was in prison in the fortress of Machaerus for denouncing the adulterous marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias (Luke 3:19-20). He had been there throughout much of Jesus’ ministry and had not been able to see the miracles Jesus was performing. John’s disciples had reported what they were witnessing (Luke 7:18), but John had heard only partial reports and was not able to see the whole picture. Perhaps it was his lack of understanding that caused him to have a question about Jesus’ mission. Jesus asked John’s disciples to relate to John again those things which they had heard and seen. In doing so, Jesus assured John that He was fulfilling the Father’s will.
After addressing John, Jesus praised John to the crowds, telling them that John was a man of conviction and courage, the greatest of prophets, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the nation for Jesus and present Him to the nation.
However, the leaders of that time were unwilling to accept John as a prophet of God. Matthew 11:16-19 reveals the reason for their unbelief: their hearts were hardened, and they were acting as stubborn children. Jesus issued a warning to them. In verses 16-24, Jesus told the people that judgment would fall upon those who treated lightly their opportunities to see and hear God’s Son. He told the people of Capernaum that if the Gentile cities of Tyre and Sidon, and the godless cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, had seen the miracles Jesus and His disciples had performed, they would have repented. Yet, despite the miracles Jesus performed at Capernaum, many people still chose not to believe.
At the end of this chapter, Jesus invited the people of Capernaum to “come,” and “learn.” The invitation to come was extended to those who were exhausted and burdened down. If His listeners chose to accept His invitation, they would receive rest. However, rest did not promise a life free of effort or sorrow. Discipleship does not exempt one from work but, like the yoke that couples oxen together, it makes the load manageable. Learn, the final step in Jesus’ invitation, was a lifelong process, which encouraged the people to learn more about Him, and trust Him, and as a result, receive peace.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV. The opposition to the King
A. The commencement of the King’s rejection
1. The anticipation of opposition (11:2-30)
a. Opposition to the forerunner (11:2-15)
b. Opposition by the inconsistent (11:16-19)
c. Opposition by the cities (11:20-24)
d. Invitation to the childlike (11:25-30)
When you find yourself on overload, remember God’s invitation to rest. He is able to relieve us of all our stress, and give us true peace.