Continuing through Matthew 12, I encountered yet another Sabbath controversy for Jesus. He’s just claimed that he is Lord of the Sabbath, and yet the people still want to test him to see what he’ll do–this time providing a man with a withered hand to be their case study.
I was reminded today that Matthew 12 occurs directly after Matthew 11. Have you read the end of that? Jesus boldly declares that those who are weary, who are burdened (maybe even by overzealous Sabbath enforcement?) are invited to come to him and find rest for their souls. The Sabbath observance had ceased to become restful in chapter 12. Why? Because it became divorced from the God who created Sabbath and who alone provides rest.
If true rest can only be found in relationship to the Lord of the Sabbath Himself, what does that say about us without rest? If the stress has overwhelmed us, if the grind won’t stop, if we are burning ourselves out at both ends, the problem isn’t primarily a rest problem. It’s a relationship problem. Our rest reflects our relationship with God.
“Come to me; I am the Lord of true rest.”