by Rob Parlante
Jesus uses the phrase Come to Me about 7 times in the Gospels. Today, I want to look at 2 important passages that highlight this particular offer Jesus makes after one decides to follow Him (See Blog – Why Don’t You Just Try Following Christ?). Following by definition conveys there is a distance between the follower and the followee. Following in a sense is trying to imitate the actions of another. Following Jesus at a distance doesn’t give a person eternal life, but following can lead to eternal life. Jesus wants all to come to Him to be united with Him and receive eternal life. When one comes to Him, a more intimate relationship is the result, because Christ indwells the believer. Let’s examine John 5:39-42 as an example of not wanting to Come to Me.
John 5:39-42 (NASB) 39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 41 “I do not receive glory from men; 42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.
Jesus in the passages is addressing the Jewish Pharisees who think that they can obtain eternal life by knowing the scriptures. Jesus says the scriptures testify about Him. Jesus says you need to Come to me to have life, but you are unwilling. How many people do you know that fall into this category? They know a little bit about Jesus or maybe they know some bible passages, following loosely Jesus from a distance, but never coming closer and Come to Me. They never realize life can’t be found in any other thing except Jesus. They never realize Jesus meets all ones needs. In this passage the Pharisees looked to the scriptures for life, and were unwilling to Come to Me and have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. They never take the next step leading to eternal life. Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and clearly tells them eternal life isn’t in scriptural knowledge, but something so much more. It’s coming to Him.
Let’s look at Matt 11:27-30 for the 2nd example of Come to Me.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB) 28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “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. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
In this passage Jesus’ offer of Come to Me is addressed to all. The offer applies to all peoples who are weary and heavy-laden. In other words, all peoples who are tired and beat up by trying to live life depending on themselves. These are people trying to live life relying on their own talents, smarts and methods of controlling life. Jesus offers a supernatural spiritual rest to all peoples; He says after coming to Me, you will find rest for your souls. A yoke is an instrument used to tie cattle together with a harness. It links the two animals together. Jesus’ offer of coming to Me equates to being yoked to Him. When one is yoked to Jesus, he is connected to Him: he is in union with Him. From the previous example, the Pharisees were unwilling to come to Jesus. They were unwilling to be united to Jesus, and thus have eternal life. Jesus offers eternal life the Pharisees where searching for, by becoming yoked (in union) with Him. There is no other way to receive eternal life and rest for ones soul. One has to Come to Me. A decision needs to be made here. Man can reject the offer to Come to Me, or yield to the offer and just Come. Do you want eternal life and rest for your soul? The only way to receive this is by being yoked to Jesus, united to Him. One receives eternal life by faith in Jesus death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of one’s sins. We get yoked when we exercise saving faith. Have you ever received eternal life by faith, please make this decision right now as your read this blog. This is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. Life isn’t about imitating Jesus, but by coming to Him and being united to Him. Jesus says His yoke is easy, His burden is light. This is real rest that can only be found in Jesus.
You know God orchestrates life so that you will never find rest in any other thing but Him. Come closer to Jesus and be yoked to Him, come be united to Him.
Why Don’t You Just Try Coming To Christ?
If you would like to learn more about the truths described here, come join us at Grace Christian Church, currently meeting at the Freehold VFW, every Sunday at 9:30 am.
Elder / Grace Christian Church