The rest we find in Jesus…
Text: John 5: 1-29
Focus: John 5: 23
From Jesus’ defence it’s clear that the Sabbath is not that you are not allowed to work. Although the 10 commandments state that God rested on the seventh day, Jesus points out that He never rests, because He sustains the universe.
So, what is Sabbath rest then?
When Jesus is confronted, his defence is that He is doing the will of His Father. Not even the Jews’ Sabbath laws can prevent Him from obeying God. Work is a calling from God and therefore we are doing God’s will when we work.
After the Fall, work is unfortunately no longer just fulfilling a calling; it has become our god. We use work to show that we are worthy. Hence the institution of the Sabbath commandment. We are now constantly reminded that God must determine our identity and not our work.
We know how difficult it is. Our identity is often intertwined in our work. That’s why people get depressed easily when things don’t go as planned. Instead of our work being a calling through which we glorify God, it becomes a tool with which we must prove ourselves.
We seek our dignity in our work while our work cannot give us what we need. Even if we do our work perfectly, we are and remain unworthy because we are stained by sin. What our deepest heart desires is to be fully accepted. To hear:
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23).
We can hear these wonderful words only because Jesus was willing to die in our place on the cross so that we can be fully accepted.
This is the miracle of our salvation! Therefore, we can start looking at our work differently. Our work can now again be about fulfilling our calling. We will also be able to say “no” when we are overworked, because it is no longer necessary to prove ourselves.
We are already fully accepted in Jesus Christ, our Lord! Let’s live in this rest.