How to find the rest that Jesus offers
The Mayo Clinic warns that stress can have a negative impact on one’s health, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. According to a recent report:
Common effects of stress on one’s body include:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems
Common effects of stress on your mood
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
Common effects of stress on your behavior
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Substance abuse
- Tobacco use
- Social withdrawal
It seems strange to me that for some, it takes a $100,000 study from a prestigious medical center to confirm what we already know in our heart to be true. Stress is bad. Stress can contribute to a shortened life and a compromised witness. These facts are not disputed. But there is good news—God cares and God desires to help.
2000 years ago Jesus came to earth—to help. Not only did He come to make it possible to inherit a glorious eternal life, He came to make it possible to have more joy and hope in this life. He did not come to just tell us how to live—He came to show us how to live—and to help us manage the burdens of life.
In Matthew 11 Jesus said, “Come unto me all who are weary, and I will give you rest…” Jesus cares. He wants to help. He can help. The teaching (and notes) below provide an overview of the help Jesus offers. Satan desires to steal joy and peace. Know his strategy, and know you have access to an Advocate, a Friend, and a Helper. May you find in Him, rest for your soul.
NOTES FOR THE STUDY ON MATTHEW 11 (Rest For The Stressed)
In Matthew’s Gospel…
- Jesus is presented as God’s plan of the ages in chapter 1.
- The amazing aspects of His birth are profiled in chapter 2.
- How Jesus embodies the fulfillment of prophecy is noted in chapters 1-3.
- His authority over Satan is noted in chapter 3.
- His unique calling and relationship to God is noted in chapter 4.
- His wisdom is noted in the great sermon in chapters 5-7.
- His authority is noted at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (7).
- His authority is demonstrated by his mastery over illness, the law, the Pharisees, weather, demons and death (chapters 8-10).
- The notation of our need to respond appropriately to the above is noted in chapter 11.
To whom much is given…
- The people in the towns where Jesus had performed most of his miracles did not turn from their sins… (20a)
- “…he reproached those towns. ‘How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin!’” (20b-21a)
- “How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have…put on sackcloth…to show that they had turned from their sins!” (21b)
- “And as for you, Capernaum! Did you want to lift yourself up to heaven? You will be thrown down to hell! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would still be in existence today! You can be sure that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to Sodom than to you!” (23-24)
An offer only Jesus could make:
- “My Father has given me all things…” (27a)
- “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (27b)
- The Offer/Invitation:
- “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” (28-30)
- Jesus took the initiative to extend an invitation
- Jesus knows our situation
- The invitation is not to be free from trouble, but to be free from the power of sin
- The invitation is not to be free from the law, but to be dependent on Jesus.
- The invitation is not to live by our own rules, but to learn from Jesus
- Remember: All that glitters is not gold
- Remember: The load is light only if we are carrying the right things, the right way