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Augustine of Hippo (354 -430) in his Confessions wrote of man’s basic need, the need to know God.

“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you,” he wrote.

God made us to long for His rest. So often we try to find rest in other things, but often avoid the very One who can give us rest.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:27-30, ESV).

The word “all who labor” is the Greek word κοπιῶντες (kopiōntes) which means to grow weary, to toil. We are tired, but we are without rest. We labor for ourselves we are “heavy laden” which is the Greek word πεφορτισμένοι (pephortismenoi) which gives us the idea of being weighed down. We can’t carry the load. In fact, what we earn from our labor, in the end, is death, (Romans 3:23). This yoke will never provide rest, but will only continue to pile on burdens, difficulties, make us tired, and with it, we will never find rest.

Jesus offers a trade. Let’s switch yokes. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. He is an easy taskmaster, why? Because He carries the weight. He takes on the burden and when we take His yoke not only do we learn from Him, but He gives us rest, which is the Greek word ἀναπαύω (anapauó) meaning he refreshes us after our labor, he gives us a break. This word signifies the labor is complete, but it’s not completed by us, but by Jesus who completed that work on the cross.

Keeping our yoke means the work will never end in this life and when it does it will be all for naught.

Do you want rest? It can only be found in Jesus.

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