For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
By Gary Wilkerson
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Many think that Jesus is issuing an invitation to throngs of hurting people in this verse, but this is much more than an invitation. He is telling us — commanding us, in fact — to come to Him because He alone can supply the rest our souls need.
Is it even possible for us to “come to Him” on our own? According to Jesus, it is not: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44). Why would Christ command us to do something we are unable to do?
He is giving us an important lesson here, one that is critical to the Christian life. When we are given a command, we cannot just charge ourselves up and say, “I can do this. I’m your man, Lord!” If we do that, we are in trouble before we begin. A command in the gospels exposes our inability. God does this on purpose because as He reveals to us His will, He also shows us our inability to achieve it on our own.
How wonderful that Jesus follows every impossible command with a promise. After He says, “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him,” He immediately adds, “And I will raise him up on the last day” (verse 44). God will draw us to Himself but He will also raise us up into new, resurrection life. New life comes only through Him.
“Whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:21, my emphasis). I love how the King James Version translates the last part of this verse: “That his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
God is fashioning the work in us. As soon as He reveals our inability, He reveals His ability and willingness to accomplish it all.