Text: Matthew 11.25-30 (Read it here.)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11.28, NIV)
Everybody Needs Somebody
Author: Ralph Beistle
You’ve likely seen it often. Friends or co-workers are in a restaurant. One might assume they chose to share their time to enjoy one another’s company, but you see all of them looking at their phones, texting or reading the texts from a person not at the table. They didn’t seem to really need their dinner companion’s interest. So I wondered if the psychologists are right when they speak of the effect of our excessive use of modern technology causing us to be more lonely, withdrawn, isolated – even if we are surrounded by people.
Are you worried? Do you feel threatened by health issues, financial difficulties, or in some interpersonal conflict? Are you facing a choice of directions for your life? Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you would really like to talk about your concerns, but you really do not know anyone who could be your advisor or comforter? They used to say that a person rarely develops more than 5 “close” friendships in a lifetime. We were created to be social persons, not “lone rangers.”
The best news to anyone seeking that kind of friend, should remember how Jesus invited his listeners: “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).
It’s an old song by Joseph Scriven, but still promises a basis for hope to the ones who come to Jesus to get comfort:
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!”
What do you think Jesus meant when he said God revealed “these things” to children, rather than to the wise? Are you surprised it was revealed to children? Why or why not? In what ways does our dependence on the “wise” actually get us in trouble, rather than providing safety and security?
How does knowing the Son—and therefore the Father—help in giving “rest” to you? In what ways has your knowledge of God actually served to ease your burdens or prevented what might have been an extremely stressful, unbearable situation from being completely overwhelming? Can you think of specific examples in your life when this has been the case?
Jesus says that those who come to him have rest and that his yoke is easy. Do you find this to be an accurate description of what happens in your life or at times do you find following Jesus to be burdensome? If so, why do you think this is the case? How can you understand better Jesus as the one who gives you rest? In what ways do you seek rest for your soul from your relationship with Jesus versus simply using Jesus and your faith as a way to make your life “better?”