Why Do We Need Rest?

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:

28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

But why would he say that? And is it still relevant for us today? Didn’t Jesus live in a time when there weren’t smart phones, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok…? Did he really know what it was like to live this kind of distracted life that we are walking through now? Yes!

Jesus knew distraction, better than we do. We have the luxury of being able to turn off notifications, or if we are being extra daring, the entire phone, but Jesus couldn’t. His distractions came in the form of actual people, every time he walked through the streets. We have accounts of him being bombarded by all kinds of people asking for help. One of my favorite examples is of the woman who touches edge of his clothes just to be healed, this happens while Jesus is already going to heal someone else. So yeah, he knew distraction. But he also knew rest.

In the verses from Matthew 11 Jesus identifies with everyone. “All who are weary and burdened,” that’s kind of a universal statement. I know I have/currently do feel weary and burdened, and I’ve got a hunch that you do to. And Jesus is simply saying, “Come to Me.”That’s all he is asking of us, but we find it so challenging because we don’t want to give up the illusion we have of control, but that is a different conversation for a different day. 

Today, we are looking at rest, and why we need it. A quick Google search will tell you that there are almost 2 Billion pieces of content on the internet about why we need rest, and that’s just in the first half second. Now, I have not gone through all of those, nor do I think you should either, but instead, I’ll share from my personal life and what I’ve learned.

  1. Jesus did it, so should I: Looking at the life of Jesus, and that’s where we should look because he is our standard, we see that Jesus we get alone to pray. This was a restful and rejuvenating time for him. We can deduce that because so many of our examples happen right before or right after something major in his ministry. And if Jesus did it, so should I.
  2. There are major health benefits: In that Google search mentioned earlier there are hundreds of articles about the health benefits of resting. But here are some of the highlights; it reduces stress (who doesn’t want that), puts us in a better mood, and it lowers risk factors for things like heart disease and cancer.
  3. It’s a Biblical mandate: Admittedly, I probably should have led with this one, but here it is anyway, remember those 10 rules to live by that God gave to Moses in the wilderness? This is one of those. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy,” is a command to rest. We know that the Sabbath was important in Hebrew culture because it was how they honored the Seventh day of creation, which was the day that God rested. God didn’t rest because he needed it, he rested because he knew we would need it. 

We could go on and on about the importance of rest in our lives mentally, physically, and spiritually but instead let’s end on this note. God wants what is best for us, often times that means to rest. In order to get rest, all we have to do is come to Jesus. Rest is waiting there for us.

Author: Matt Reed

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