Labor produces weariness. Since sin entered the world, the “thorns and thistles” of the cursed soil have been beaten back by the sweat of the brow (Gen. 3:17-19). Indeed, “the sleep of a laboring man is sweet” (Eccl. 5:12). Jesus sees us toiling against an even greater curse, that of sin and death. Sin weighs upon the soul, crushing out the light of God’s presence and suffocating our spiritual breath under its heavy load. Jesus sees us failing to make headway against sin. We do not have the strength to break its bonds and free ourselves from its captivity. Its shroud of death confines us in darkness (Rom. 6:23; 3:23). Jesus knows our suffering, our pain, our distress in sin. He offers relief, repose, and refreshment for our souls. Living water is available that forever quenches the parched heart yearning for life (Jno. 4:10, 13-14; Isa. 55:1-7). Jesus can save you from sin’s eternal turmoil, pain, and death (Acts 4:12). Come to Jesus, and He will give rest to your soul (Matt. 11:29). Be saved from your sins by believing He is the Son of God and obeying Him in faith (Jno. 1:12; Mk. 16:15-16; Heb. 5:8-9).
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NKJV)
So many people want Jesus to “come to them” in some emotional, exhilarating, euphoric way. They ask Jesus to “come into my heart, Lord Jesus.” Yet in today’s verse, Jesus said it is we who must come to Him. The Savior is always ready to save all who come to Him in faith, calling on His name (Rom. 10:12-13). The question is, what does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? And, how do I come to Jesus for rest from my sins? Prayer alone is not calling on His name. Saul, who had already been praying for three days, was told to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). We must do what Saul did to come to Jesus; arise and in faith and be baptized (Mk. 16:16). This is the appeal (the calling) on the name of the Lord that He hears and heeds. This is how the lost come to Jesus and receive rest from the burden of their sins.
And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” (Mark 9:1, NKJV)
When Jesus began preaching the gospel, He said the kingdom of God was near (Mk. 1:14-15). Now, in Mark 9:1, He plainly said the kingdom of God would come (be present) during the lifetime of some who heard Him speak. Although many wish to argue with Jesus over the coming of His kingdom, we will not. Just as Jesus promised, the kingdom of God came with power on Pentecost following His death, resurrection and ascension (read Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4). His kingdom is His church, to which He adds those being saved (Acts 2:47). Ever since, those converted to Christ by His gospel are delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed “into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13). This could not happen if the kingdom of God did not yet exist. Since you now know the kingdom of God has come, the crucial question is whether or not you are a citizen of it. Believe and obey the gospel of Christ and you will indeed be a citizen of the kingdom of God (Mk. 16:16; Rev. 1:5-6, 9).