The One Year Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), October 4
Adam and Eve failed to come to the LORD; instead, they saw the forbidden fruit and ate it. Cain refused to come to the LORD when He confronted him over his offering, killing his brother instead. The entire pre-flood population, except Noah and his family, refused to come to the LORD and drowned in the deluge. During the desert wandering, the children of Israel refused to come to the LORD and perished in the wilderness. The kings and people of Northern Israel refused to come to the LORD and were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Nearly a hundred years later, the people of Judah also refused to come to the LORD and were taken captive to Babylon.
Sadly, throughout history only a remnant has come to Him with their cares. Most people turn to idolatry, alcohol, illicit sex, food, money, etc., rather than come to Christ, proving Solomon’s statement, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12).
Jesus promises the weary and the burdened rest if only they will come to Him: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28). Luke’s Gospel contrasts the care-lessness of the Pharisee with the care-burden of the the sinful woman. The Pharisee feels no burden of sin—no real need, no spiritual awareness. He is care-less. The sinful woman, however, interrupts the the meal with a stunning display of love and spiritual insight. Her sin burden is taken by the Sin-bearer. Her sins, though many, are forgiven. She is, therefore, care-free!
Jesus’ offer is good for the religious who finally tire of their good works, for the immoral who finally realize the emptiness of sexual liaisons, for the rich who realize that life is more than possessions, for the poor who think that their poverty will prevent them from experiencing life, and for the addicts whose escapes from reality only entrap them.
Jesus’ invitation calls out today, “Come to me,” but His voice is often drowned by conflicting voices that promise satisfaction: entertainment, food, alcohol, relationships (both healthy and unhealthy), pornography, drugs, etc. Coming to Jesus requires honesty—the realization that nothing fills the God-shaped vacuum—and surrender—the casting of oneself at the feet of Jesus, withholding nothing. In exchange, Jesus offers Himself, “I will give you rest.”
What does it mean to come to Jesus?
- It is coming to Jesus, not to a church or to an emotionally charged religious experience.
- It is coming in realization of weariness, over burdens too heavy to bear any longer or to dull with substance abuse.
- It is coming in faith, believing His promise of rest.
- It is coming under the yoke, submitting to His light yoke and casting aside sin’s heavy yoke.
- It is coming for soul-rest to the One who is meek and humble in heart.
- It is a posture of humility. Burdens weigh down.
Care-less people live carelessly; therefore cares are a backhanded gift to awaken man’s awareness of need of Christ.
What’s preventing you from coming to Jesus? His invitation, “Come to Me,” still stands.
Questions from today’s chronological reading (Mt. 8:5-13; 11:1-30; Lk. 7:1-50):
Describe the difference between Jesus’ encounter with the Roman centurion and His encounter with the widow. What does the resurrection of the widow’s son reveal about God’s care for women?
What does John the Baptist’s question to Jesus reveal about circumstances, expectations, and doubt?