[Jesus said,] “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.” (Mt. 11:28-30)
Throughout this week’s readings (Matthew chapters 8 to 12), there are two re-occurring themes: Faith as trust in Jesus’ authority, and Jesus’ compassion.
In chapter 8, we read about a Roman centurion, someone who knew what it meant to have authority and be under it, who trusted in Jesus’ authority to heal His servant from a distance with just a word. This Jesus calls great faith.
Then in chapter 11, we encounter words from Jesus that have brought comfort to people down through the centuries, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
However, those words mean little if the object of authority in whom we trust is not speaking them. Inherently we trust in our own authority, whether we are confident or insecure. Confident people believe that their self-trust is working. Insecure people realize that it is not.
But unless we trust in Jesus’ authority to help us, His words of compassion and comfort are meaningless to us.
It is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we are willing to accept the gift of hope that Jesus offers to us. In desperation, we cling to His promises of His presence, His loving care, His forgiveness and His resurrection life….
…until the crisis passes. Then we tend to revert to our old ways of trusting in our own authority again.
The challenge is to constantly live at the end of ourselves. It cam be very scary to let go of the trapeze swing of self-trust to which we have been clinging, reach out into empty space and hope that Someone grabs our out-stretched arms. But we are not leaping into the unknown and hoping for the best. We are leaping into the arms of a Saviour who has been holding us close every since He stretched out His arms on the cross to save us.
Jesus will keep you safe in His loving arms. His resurrection proves that He has the ability and authority to do that. You can trust in His loving embrace and there you will find rest for your soul.
Dear Jesus, please help me to abandon any trust I may have in my own power and authority and cling to You as You hold me. Amen.