Jesus says, not said, Jesus says today, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Come to Me.
Jesus does not say, “Come to religion.”
Jesus does not say, “Come to spirituality.”
Jesus does not say, “Come to church.”
He does not say, Come to the divine one.” Raising the question of who he thinks he is!
Come to Me.
He calls us to himself. The pronoun is all-important:
Christianity began on Palestinian soil, as a relationship with a person.
It moved to Greek soil and became a philosophy.
It moved on to Rome and became an Institution.
It moved on to British soil and became a Culture.
It moved on to American soil and became an Enterprise!
But Christianity is essentially a Person.
Come to Me all who are weary and overburdened. In the English language verbs function in two voices: active and passive. You may know that in the Greek language verbs function in three voices: active, passive and what is called the middle.
Active – “I wash.”
Passive – “I am washed.”
Middle – “I wash myself.”
“All who are overburdened” is in the middle voice – “overburdened themselves.” Thus, “Come to Me all who have overburdened themselves.” For the most part, excessive weariness is our own doing.
“Come. . . and I will give you rest.” Literally, I will rest you. “I will give you rest” could lead us to think that “rest” can be experienced apart from Jesus, as though rest was a thing Jesus places in our hands which we then can carry off on our own.
“I will rest you,” suggests the personal involvement of the Rester.
Take my yoke upon you. . . and your souls, your inner being, will find rest.
Jesus is telling us that we are weary because we are wearing the wrong yokes. Refreshment for the soul comes by “a transfer of yokes.”
The question is never, “Will I wear a yoke?”
Every person wears a yoke; there are no yokeless human beings.
The question is never, “Will I be a disciple?” The question is always, “Whose disciple will I be?”
The question is never, “Will I be pressured by a spirit?” The question is always, “Of all the spirits of the age that pressure me, to which will I yield?”
The question is never, “Will I wear a yoke?” The question is always, “Whose yoke will I wear?”
Jesus tells us to come to Him, to enter into His rest because we have overburdened ourselves with the wrong yoke. We all need His yoke, a yoke that is easy, a burden that is light.
“Come to Me” says Jesus.
With thanks to Darrell Johnson in The Glory of Preaching, p.248-255