Jesus said: ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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
To feel that you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ should be both warming and really, really scary.
Yesterday we read of Jesus as being the one whose intimate acquaintance with God is so complete that by getting to know Jesus we get to know God. Just think about that for a moment.
In my life I have met so many people who have been overwhelmed by the possibility of a passing encounter with a ‘famous’ person. A close relationship with Jesus is on a totally different scale because Jesus and God are one!
To get to know Jesus is to lay ourselves open in a way that strips away all our human pride, intransigence, greed, anger, and so on. Getting to know Jesus is really scary because our façade is stripped from us and we stand before him in the harsh reality of who we really are. And … when our facades are so effectively stripped from us we come to realize that keeping up the pretence is exhausting. We realize that we are weary and weighed down with guilt and dishonesty, and all that other negative stuff.
When we see ourselves in this light, when we finally let go and trust in the friendship of Jesus Christ, then the famous words in today’s reading make perfect sense. Then we will find ourselves ready to let Jesus bathe our wounds, re-clothe us in all Christian virtues and bring us into the perfect rest that only he can offer.
So often this text is misused as some sort of spiritual comfort blanket for those who are facing a tricky day or two. Let us not fall into that trap. Rather, let us take that step into the unknown and revel in God’s healing and comforting love in order that we might be better disciples in the challenging world in which we live out our daily lives.