Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Bible Study For You
To the Exhausted and the Worn Out
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
For a long time, whenever I felt physically tired, I would think of and pray this verse. But after a great hermeneutics professor and J.C. Ryle, I came to realize the meaning of this verse is a lot deeper than just physical exhaustion…
In his book Old Paths, J.C. Ryle asks the text four simple questions that help us better understand this verse.
1. Who is the Speaker of this invitation?
If you own a red letter edition Bible you already know the answer to this question without even reading the verse. Jesus is giving this invitation. Jesus, who is one with the Father (John 8:30) and in whom the fullness of God dwells (Col. 2:9). Jesus, the one who was present in the creation of the world, (Col. 1:15-17) and who holds all things together (Col. 1:17). But also the one who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but humbled Himself to come to the world and redeem us (Phil. 2:5-8). Jesus, the one who promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, but will be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). Yes, that Jesus is talking here.
2. To who is this invitation addressed?
“All who labor and are heavy laden.” So who are these people who labor and are heavy laden? Well, I think that is every single one of us. Our lives are packed with work, school, family issues, anxiety, stress, pain, and it simply does not stop to gives us break. Whether we want to recognize it or not, you and I are exactly the people Jesus is describing here. We are tired, whether that may be physically, mentally or emotionally, or all three of them! We just had the weekend, but a new week has started with a brand new to do list, and perhaps the unfinished ones from previous weeks.
For the next two questions, I could really go on but I want to encourage you to process through and share your thoughts with us.
3. What does the Speaker asks us to do?
4. What does the Speaker offer to give?