This, and the verse prior to it, are the gentlest of Gospel invitations in Scripture.
We, as believers, are often accused of beating unbelievers over the head with hell and damnation and demonstrating a lack of compassion and understanding. That is sometimes true, even though a dose of hell and damnation is what some people need to recognize their need of Someone to rescue them from both of the above.
But here in Matthew we have the message for those who have reached that point known as “the end of the rope.” They just can’t do “it” anymore, whatever “it” represents that they once thought would meet the heart cry of their souls. They have discovered that nothing, and no one, can satisfy and they are tired of the chase that leaves them aching and empty.
And Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” You can stop struggling, stop trying, stop fighting, stop searching.
Sin still needs to be acknowledged and repented of even if it seems, to our minds at least, as innocuous as the sin of looking for peace, joy, satisfaction in anything or anyone other than in relationship to Christ appears. All sin is equal. But the Lord provides a different approach to “end of rope” than He does to overt acts of rebellion and defiance. The Gospel is not only hell and damnation it is hope and peace as well. In fact, the two approaches often dovetail with each other—but no always.
For those of us who are bearers of that Gospel message, it is important to listen to the voice of the Spirit of God to know which approach He wants us to take, and if a combination is needed, which order He wants us to pursue.
I noticed that the photo I chose for this devotional was taken somewhere in Latin America. That in turn reminded me of the crisis in Venezuela—a crisis that our brothers in Colombia are working to help alleviate. You can help. So I have added information on a Fellowship project in which you can participate to bring relief to those who are suffering.