“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Love the Word
Do you ever feel weary from sin? Has too much license increased your desire for more and more of your fix of choice in order to feel new again? This is the loose and licentious life of a sand heart that is scattered and blows with the wind. It requires a storm to be restored.
Are you burdened with trying to keep religious rules, regulations, and stipulations, feeling as though you can never measure up to perfection? This is the rigid and legalistic life of a stone heart that requires a severe tool to be restored. Both sand and stone hearts proudly attempt self-restoration and remain unrestored.
Sand hearts often become stone hearts in their process of self-restoration, much like the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable had tried to contrive a plan where he would work his way into the family business as a hired hand, thus earning his right to return. All the while, his stonehearted older brother expected the same.
Ironically, sand and stone are the same substance. In essence, sand is merely broken up pieces of stone, so whether licentious or legalistic, each tries to maintain control of their own lives. Sand hearts are weary from license. Stone hearts are burdened with their legalism.
Learn the Word
Two thousand years ago, Jesus invited sand and stone hearts alike: “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This verse offers the Master Key that unlocks the gate to authentic restoration in Christ.
Rest was synonymous with restoration. In order to be made new again, each of Jesus’ listeners would have to humbly come to Him with a heart of clay, one that recognized its proud journey through sand and stone. Humility and humanity come from the same Latin word, humus, meaning, “from the ground.” Whereas, all three substances of sand, stone, and clay come from the ground, clay is void of meaning, unless it is shaped by the Potter’s hands. Sand is a picture of license. Stone is a picture of legalism. Clay is a portrait of love.
Jesus went on to teach: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
“Take my yoke” was an idiomatic expression of Jesus’ day that one would become a disciple, or a learner. Consequently, those who surrendered to Christ would begin a journey toward wisdom. This required listening to the One with a gentle and humble clay heart through prayer and obedience. The word yoke is often confused with the Greek word used for yoking two animals. However, Jesus’ choice of yoke was the Greek word zugos. This word was used to describe the yoke used by a person carrying buckets of milk or water. The yoke made the load lighter.
By teaching His yoke is easy, Jesus meant it was not filled with the heavy burden of legalism created by the stonehearted Pharisees and teachers of the law who had added about 1,500 laws to God’s 613 spoken in the first five books of the Old Testament.
When Jesus said that His burden was light, He meant that the invoice was paid in full. Those who would come to Christ would be fully forgiven. On the cross, Jesus said: “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Greek word for the phrase is teleo. This was the same word written at the top of a Bill of Sale marked, “Paid in Full.” The perfect life, death, and resurrection of Christ is the clearest portrait of undeserved love ever painted on history’s canvas.
Live the Word
Memorize Matthew 11:28 and recite it each day for the next week. Make a daily commitment to come to Christ with the sand and stone in your heart. Ask Him to restore you with a clay heart, one that is malleable in the loving hands of Jesus Christ the Restorer.