There are many reasons why people don’t come to Christ. Some people think there are too many rules in Christianity, and some think it’s too rigid or hard. Others might believe there’s no value to following Christ. I’m certain there are so many reasons that I couldn’t possibly write them all down. When I think about the “rules” and rigidity of Christianity, I think about being a Jew in the time of Jesus.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Jesus made this proclamation to Israelites who, since the time of Moses, had been burdened with over 630 different laws. From not being able to plant two different types of seed in the same field to not mixing two different types of cloth together in the same garment, there were a lot of rules to follow. As if 633 different laws weren’t enough, the religious rulers added their own.

You might think we don’t do things like that today. Depending on where you go to church, you might be surprised. Now, if you’re still thinking about the benefits to your soul in not planting two types of seed together or not wearing blended clothes, then it would be best to stop. There aren’t any. You can dump all of your seed packets into one garden, and you’re not going to hell because of it. You might feel like you’re in a bad place come time to harvest, but that’s another story.

For the Jews, however, it was a real burden to carry around, all of those 633 rules and then some. The burden was worse because following those rules didn’t benefit their eternal souls. When Jesus invites them to come to Him, He’s inviting all of those who are “weary and burdened” from trying to follow a religious ideology that didn’t give rest to the soul.

What about you? Do you feel rested after church or listening to a sermon? When you read your Bible? Not everyone likes to read, which is why I recommend listening to the Bible if you’re one of those people. Even if you like reading, I think it’s beneficial to sometimes sit back and just listen to the word of God, allowing it to permeate mind, body, and soul. Romans tells us, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17 NIV). Therefore, it’s sometimes necessary to just listen to the Bible.

How does this invitation from Jesus apply outside of the context of Matthew? You did realize it’s an invitation, right? Jesus is inviting everyone weary and burdened to come to Him, and He will give them rest. Although we can find rest in Jesus after a tough day of working that garden with all of those plants planted in it, that’s not what He’s talking about.

Just as those 633+ rules provided no eternal benefit to those who tried to follow them, all of the things we religiously do in this life provide no eternal benefit to us.

Most of the world gets up every day and goes off to do the same thing they did the day before. Work, school, lion taming, the list can go on and on. I don’t think many of us have that much variety in what we do every day. For the most part, those things we do every day don’t benefit our eternal souls. If anything, they can sometimes feel like they’re soul-crushing. Especially if we’re doing something like a job we don’t like to just pay bills and live.

Jesus isn’t telling us to come to Him if we don’t like our soul-crushing job. He’s telling us if we go to Him that He will give us rest and the peace of God. The peace of God surpasses all human understanding (Philippians 4:7). Jesus is telling us to go to Him because He will show us the better way. He will show us a life of purpose that does benefit our eternal soul.

The good news is you don’t need a soul-crushing job to accept this invitation. We do many things religiously to find peace, relaxation, and comfort in this life that cannot fulfill us. Temporary things provide temporary benefits. That two-week vacation you go on each year to get away from that job? Doesn’t it sometimes feel better to be done with it and be back to work? Even sitting around, without a job to go to, with nothing to do, isn’t satisfying to our souls. That’s something many of us have learned in the last year or so during the pandemic.

However, we can find the rest our souls need in the comforting arms of Jesus Christ. If you know the Lord and find yourself tired and weary, the odds are you might be trying to find eternal rest in temporary things.

I’m going to leave you with His words and His invitation.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.