Letter Thirty One
Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?
It has been over a year that I have been traveling with Jesus and his disciples. We have been to many towns. Jesus has preached the good news, performed miracles, healed the sick, delivered people from evil spirits, and raised the dead. Though many now follow us and say they believe that Jesus is sent by God, still they do not repent of a lifestyle of sin. Today, Jesus strongly rebuked the people of these cities. He reminded them of the consequences of an empty faith. They will not be “lifted up to the skies,” but rather, they “will go down to the depths.” He went on to say that “it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” What a scary thought! You remember that the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom for they were such a wicked and corrupt people.
Immediately after these sobering words, he called those who have repented to “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.” Our Lord is as strong as a lion, yet as gentle as a dove. When we truly follow Him, he offers us peace and rest. Sometimes when I am worried, I go tell Jesus. He immediately assures me that he will carry my burdens and that I can trust his care, provision, and protection. Just when I become anxious and think that our mission is difficult, Jesus reminds me that it is HIS MISSION and he will make a way. We only need to faithfully follow and obey. Knowing that we are in the Father’s will and God is in control brings great rest to my soul.
Finding rest in Jesus,
your Big Sister
Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 11:20-30
I often hear people say, “If Jesus would appear today” or “If Jesus would heal my disease, then I would believe.” Yet, in the passage we read today, we see that despite all the many people Jesus healed (even bringing some back to life), and the miracles He performed, people still did not repent. The Scripture does not say that they did not believe. It says that they did not repent. “Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent” (Matthew 11:20).
Paul says that we are to live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Bible gives more than enough evidence that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth and revealed the Father’s will, died for our sins, and then rose from the dead. In Luke 13:5, Jesus says “unless you repent, you too will all perish.” It is not enough to just say we believe Jesus is God and died for our sins; but, we must acknowledge that we are sinners, repent, and call on Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.
Matthew 11:28-30 encourages us that when we surrender ourselves to the Lordship of Christ, we will experience rest for our souls. Let God carry your burdens. Like the yoke of an ox which carries most of the weight, thus making the load easy for the animal, surrender whatever worries you have to the Lord. Submit yourself to His will for your life. He will make you lie down in green pastures and lead you to quiet waters (see Psalm 23).